The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
Highly Commended at the 4th eSTEeM Scholarship Projects of the Year Awards 2021 under the category - Enhancing the Student Experience.
This project set out to explore how visually impaired (VI) students may be supported by a remote sighted (RS) helper to interact with visually complex teaching resources, as this support process was being evolved. We aimed to document student and helper reactions to this novel method of support, and to evaluate whether RS helper support is comparable with, or has advantages over physically-present sighted helper support for some VI students and whether such support may usefully be provided in future.
The context was the introductory programming block of TM111, based on the drag-and-drop visual programming environment OUBuild in which students create computer programs by manipulating coloured blocks representing code. Three VI students on TM111 20D were supported remotely by a RS helper, overseen by the TM111 Module Team Accessibility Lead Richard Walker (also project lead). This report documents how this support manifested for each student, describing the perspectives of the students, the sighed helper and the tutors involved.