Mobile Chats Accessibility Evaluation

Image with the logo of Whatsapp

Introduction

Chats have become a very useful instrument in learning environments. Furthermore, the use of mobile devices has been increased in the last decade for learning environments. These technologies, chats and mobile devices, are combined by educational centers to improve learning. However, it is not known if every chat could be used for m-learning environments and if everybody could use them.

Evaluation

Ana Iglesias and I have coordinated the accessibility evaluation of the most common chats used in desktop and mobile environments. This evaluation was divided into two different parts: evaluation of the most common chats from the point of view of UDL guidelines in order to select the chats which could be more suitable for learning environments; accessibility evaluation of these chats from the point of view of the standards and guidelines which are more related to chats in m-learning environments (Ex: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Mobile Web Application Best Practices (MWABP), ISO 9241 or Universal Design Learning (UDL) guidelines).

Problems

The evaluation showed that from the point of view of UDL guidelines, the chats which could be used better for m- learning environments were Line, Whatsapp and Spotbros. These chats were selected to be evaluated from the point of view of the aforementioned accessibility standards and guidelines. After performing these evaluations, the results revealed that these tools were not as accessible as should be because they did not comply with the selected standards and guidelines.

A complete list of the obtained barriers in these studies is published in two different conferences which are detailed in the Outputs section.

Duration

Eight months (2013)

Team

Alberto Arbiol
Rocío Calvo
Ana Iglesias

Applied Skills and Methods

Heuristic Evaluation
Semi-automatic Tools

Outputs

Conference Articles: " Are all Chats suitable for learning purposes? A study of the required characteristics" and " Chat's accessibility in mobile learning environments"