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RE: Instruction and Assessment

From: Hansen, Eric <ehansen@ets.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 12:44:00 -0500
To: "'Jon Gunderson'" <jongund@uiuc.edu>, "Hansen, Eric" <ehansen@ets.org>, "'Ian Jacobs'" <ij@w3.org>, "Hansen, Eric" <ehansen@ets.org>
Cc: "UA List (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, "Ian Jacobs (E-mail)" <ijacobs@w3.org>
Message-id: <B49B36B1086DD41187DC000077893CFB8B4783@rosnt46.ets.org>
Jon asked:

"Can't we just reference content that in some way conforms or can conform to
WCAG."

My comments:

I think that the working group already decided _not_ to assert that the
guidelines are based upon an assumption that Web content conforms to WCAG
1.0. In other words, the working group declined to assume WCAG-conformant
content.

As to whether content "could" conform to WCAG 1.0, I think that it would be
hard to develop criteria as to whether one "could" or "could not" conform. 

My main point is that, just as as there may be cases in which access may be
restricted to some content by virtue of security or other considerations,
there may situations in education, notably educational testing, where to
provide access to "all content" (e.g., right answers), would render the
content useless for its intended purpose. 

I am basically satisfied with the most relevant wording, which points out
that:

"Restricted functionality and conformance"

"There may be scenarios where a content provider wishes to limit the user's
full access to content. For instance, a content provider may wish to limit
access to content through an API (e.g., to protect intellectual property
rights, or for security reasons), or to provide a "read-only" view (allowing
no user interaction). A valid conformance claim remains valid even when the
functionality of a conforming user agent is restricted in a particular
setting. The validity of a conformance claim will be seriously jeopardized
if a user agent does not meet the requirements of this document for
general-purpose content.

"Note: The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group recognizes that
further work is necessary in the area of digital rights management as it
relates to accessibility."

I don't know that the working group needs to describe in detail what is or
is not "general-purpose content". The reason I think that the language of
"Text content..." needs to be changed is to avoid the implication that
educational content is necessarily general-purpose.

 -----Original Message-----
> From: Jon Gunderson [mailto:jongund@uiuc.edu]
> Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 12:24 PM
> To: Hansen, Eric; 'Ian Jacobs'; Hansen, Eric
> Cc: UA List (E-mail); Ian Jacobs (E-mail)
> Subject: RE: Instruction and Assessment
> 
> 
> Can't we just reference content that in some way conforms or 
> can conform to 
> WCAG.  I really don't think we need to start stating all of 
> the different 
> potential sources and uses of content.  This seems to be a 
> discussion that 
> should be in WCAG, not UAAG.
> 
> Jon
> 
> 
> At 10:26 AM 1/26/2001 -0500, Hansen, Eric wrote:
> >You have anticipated my response.
> >
> >The principle is that Web-based tests and instruction are 
> not necessarily
> >considered "general-purpose content." Rather, they may, at 
> least in some
> >circumstances, be considered "special-purpose content."
> >
> >In order to align the remainder of the document with this 
> approach, I think
> >that this approach may also necessitate a change to the 
> definition of "Text
> >content...", which, of course is under revision anyway. 
> Essentially, I would
> >suggest that, pending further revision, the following phrase 
> be deleted:
> >"that content represents a general mix of purposes 
> (information, education,
> >entertainment, commerce)".
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Ian Jacobs [mailto:ij@w3.org]
> > > Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:54 PM
> > > To: Hansen, Eric
> > > Cc: UA List (E-mail); Ian Jacobs (E-mail)
> > > Subject: Re: Instruction and Assessment
> > >
> > >
> > > "Hansen, Eric" wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Known Limitation of the UA Guidelines regarding Instruction
> > > and Assessment
> > > >
> > > > In section 1.3, I suggest adding a known limitation
> > > regarding effectiveness
> > > > of instruction or assessments.
> > >
> > > Hi Eric,
> > >
> > > Here's an argument against adding this: Section 1.2 of the 16 Jan
> > > draft [1] includes this statement:
> > >
> > >    This document was designed specifically to improve
> > >    the accessibility of mainstream user agents with multimedia
> > >    capabilities for users with one or more disabilities
> > >    (including visual, hearing, physical, and cognitive).
> > >    In this context, a mainstream user agent is one designed
> > >    for the general public to handle general-purpose content
> > >    in ordinary operating conditions.
> > >
> > > Instructions and assessments would not be
> > > general-purpose content; this is a particular environment
> > > with particular restrictions.
> > >
> > > So is your concern adequately addressed by the existing statement?
> > >
> > >  - Ian
> > >
> > > [1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG10-20010116/#target
> > >
> > >
> > > > This is important because provision of
> > > > alternative representations is central to our accessibility
> > > strategy, yet
> > > > depending on what is being taught or assessed, provision of such
> > > > alternatives may 'short circuit' or damage the validity of
> > > an assessment or
> > > > the teaching effectiveness of an instructional module. How
> > > this potential
> > > > for damage is addressed is highly specific to the purpose
> > > of the instruction
> > > > and assessment as well as to the intended audience.
> > > >
> > > > New:
> > > >
> > > > "Effectiveness of instruction or assessments. The document
> > > does not address
> > > > issues of effectiveness of instruction or assessments, such
> > > as how provision
> > > > of alternative content may affect inferences about what a
> > > person knows or
> > > > can do in an instructional or assessment setting. For
> > > example, the nature of
> > > > inferences that one could draw about a user's ability to
> > > understand an
> > > > auditory presentation may be influenced by an
> > > accessibility-motivated
> > > > provision of a text equivalent of the presentation."
> > > >
> > > > Other edits are being sent directly to Ian Jacobs.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
> > > Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
> > > Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
> > >
> 
> Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> MC-574
> College of Applied Life Studies
> University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> 1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820
> 
> Voice: (217) 244-5870
> Fax: (217) 333-0248
> 
> E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> 
> WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 29 January 2001 12:45:12 UTC

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