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Re: Format for addressing grade-level content........

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 12:23:50 -0400
Message-Id: <200107291609.MAA3483922@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 10:40 AM 2001-07-29 , Katie Haritos-Shea wrote:
>OK...........I don't want to open the can of worms
>again...................but, saw this that David P. posted to Trace.
>Interesting Robot story from Nasa.........towards the bottom of the page it
>has a section called "Thursday's Classroom Corner"  There, you can find,
>three grade-level choices, available only in text (for two), and with
>graphics for one, but it is a .PDF.  Certainly this idea has existed in
>academic circles for a long time, not in web-format, however.
>The info itself is linked from NASA's, Thursday's Classroom.com, providing
>lesson plans for teachers.
>I know that this is not news to most of you, but I found it interesting in
>the "simpler language alternative" sense.

The idea of grade level as a metric with benefits for accomplishing
accomodation of congnitive differences is quite real.  We will likely rathole
if we try to solve this ourselves but fortunately we don't necessarily have to
take that on.

There are professionals pursuing this as we speak.  This is an area where W3C
and the WAI should be prepared to mostly 'follow,' as in "lead, follow, or get
out of the way."  At least one education targeted activity we can look for
leadership from in defining a "cognitive challenge level, comparable to what
has been called grade level in the past" is the IMS Project.  We are not
competitive with that group in taking on this particular piece of work.  Jutta
and Gregory are working with them on their access metadata schema or
vocabulary.  Good to check if there is grade level stuff that can be borrowed
from IMS in general, or if the access metadata effort has to get that on the

Compare this approach, where there are alternative sites differing in grade
level all provided by one authoring activity, with Kynn's concept that
(metadata) be used as the means to relate material at one grade level from one
source with material at a different grade level from another source.  In this
case a search or catalog lookup process does the two-dimensional analysis of
"same topic, better level" to find resources that the user is likely to find

There is a third approach where one passes a grade level parameter to a Reef
style view synthesis processor and for example there are explicit
hyperlinks to
explanatory resources attached to tough words and sentences for an adapted,
appropriate definition of 'tough.'  There are inline ways like this to
accomplish grade level accomodation, but they tend to involve setting
thresholds that govern when one technique is applied vs. another (explicit
glossary link vs. leave it to Atomica).  And they have limited ranges over
which they can accomodate, at the limits of which one has to flop over the
phase boundary into a qualitatively different strategy.


>Katie Haritos-Shea
>11809 Waples Mill Road
>Oakton, Virginia  22124-2113
>WAI Glossary:
>cell: 571-220-7777
>ph: 703-605-6426  fax: 703-605-6826
Received on Sunday, 29 July 2001 12:09:52 UTC

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