About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3112-3120
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0826

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

A COMPARATIVE ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION OF THE 100 BEST WORLDWIDE HIGHER EDUCATION COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENTS' WEB SITES

G. Kouroupetroglou1, P. Riga1, C. Oikonomidis1, E. Panagiotopoulou2, P. Yannakopoulos2

1National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2University of West Attica (GREECE)
An accessible web site in higher education means that the textual and multimedia information they contained is accessible to all, including students with sensory, physical, mental or learning disabilities. Accessibility of web sites constitutes a legal obligation in North America, the European Union and other countries concerning their conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium or the equivalent ISO/IEC 40500:2012. A number of recent studies have shown that accessibility is still a problem for many web sites of universities worldwide, and that there remain significant barriers to universal web accessibility for universities. Web accessibility is important for the Computer Science Departments as it is a part of their curriculum in Human Computer Interaction. Thus, it is crucial to check if they follow WCAG 2.0 on their own websites.

In this work we present a comprehensive, multifaceted accessibility analysis of the 100 best worldwide higher education Computer Science Departments' web sites. Web sites were chosen from the Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (ARWU) - Computer Science & Engineering. ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Clarivate Analytics, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university. More than 1200 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published. Our study aims to measure compliance of the web sites with the accessibility standards WCAG 2.0 - ISO/IEC 40500:2012, and in particular to what extent their content is perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.

Our methodology was based on the following classification of accessibility evaluation, along with the relevant tools:
a) Overall accessibility Assessment: Wave (http://wave.webaim.org )
b) WCAG 2.0 Conformity Check: AChecker (http://achecker.ca) and T.A.W. (http://www.tawdis.net/)
c) Color Contrast and Color Brightness Test: AccessColor (http://www.accesskeys.org/tools/color-contrast.html
d) XHTML και CSS Validation: Markup Validation Service (http://validator.w3.org) and W3C CSS Validator (http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator)

We have applied the above accessibility evaluation two times in a span of five years for the websites of the 100 top Computer Science Departments.

We present the results for all the four classes of accessibility evaluation presented above, along with the ranking of the 100 best worldwide higher education Computer Science Departments' web sites according to their accessibility evaluation.

The main results of the most recent evaluation indicate that:
• 4 websites only found without accessibility errors,
• 7 websites have more than 100 accessibility errors,
• 18 websites have from 1-10 accessibility errors,
• 12 websites have from 51-99 accessibility errors,
• in the span of 5 years, 58% of the web sites decreased the overall number of their accessibility errors.
@InProceedings{KOUROUPETROGLOU2018ACO,
author = {Kouroupetroglou, G. and Riga, P. and Oikonomidis, C. and Panagiotopoulou, E. and Yannakopoulos, P.},
title = {A COMPARATIVE ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION OF THE 100 BEST WORLDWIDE HIGHER EDUCATION COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENTS' WEB SITES},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0826},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0826},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3112-3120}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Kouroupetroglou AU - P. Riga AU - C. Oikonomidis AU - E. Panagiotopoulou AU - P. Yannakopoulos
TI - A COMPARATIVE ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION OF THE 100 BEST WORLDWIDE HIGHER EDUCATION COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENTS' WEB SITES
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0826
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 3112
EP - 3120
ER -
G. Kouroupetroglou, P. Riga, C. Oikonomidis, E. Panagiotopoulou, P. Yannakopoulos (2018) A COMPARATIVE ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION OF THE 100 BEST WORLDWIDE HIGHER EDUCATION COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENTS' WEB SITES, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 3112-3120.
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