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Frequently Asked Questions

What does CETIS stand for?

The Centre for Educational Interoperability Standards.

Are Links to Word Files from Web Pages Accessible?

Yes and no. A good discussion about linking to Microsoft Word files is available from the WebAim forum.

How Accessible are PDF Files?

A good discussion about Adobe PDF files is available from the WebAim forum.

What does CETIS do?

CETIS represents UK Higher Education and Further Education Institutions on international learning technology standards intiatives.

What is learning technology?

Learning technology is the use of technology such as computers, networks and communication technologies to deliver education. Learning technology includes online learning over the Internet, Virtual Learning Environments, instructional CD roms, multimedia presentations (such as PowerPoint), e-mailing and videoconferencing.

What are learning technology standards?

Organizations such as IMS are developing standards so that technological educational environments will be able to communicate and share information and content.

What is IMS?

The IMS Global Learning Consortium is a consortium of organizations from around the world working together to develop learning technology standards. CETIS is the UK branch of IMS.

What is interoperability?

Interoperability means enabling different applications to work together and share content. Interoperability is achieved by designing technologies using agreed specifications and standards, so that they are mutually compatible.

Example 1. Musicians who plug keyboards and guitars into computers to compose music are only able to do this because all the separate pieces have been designed to be interoperable. MIDI, the musical instrument digital interface, is an interoperability standard developed to enable electronic music equipment to work together.

Example 2. If all the systems in a college are interoperable, a student's details can be entered into a central administrative system, and relevant information can be shared with library administrative systems, Virtual Learning Environments and student records. If the student later begins a degree at a different institution, where the system is interoperable with the original college, any relevant information can be simply and swiftly exchanged.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is designing websites and learning technology to be usable by people with disabilities. Various features can be added or removed to make it easier for people with visual impairments, hearing impairments, physical disabilties and cognitive disabilties to access information.

What is a SIG?

A SIG is a Special Interest Group. CETIS has six Special Interest Groups, including Accessibilty, Assessment, Educational Content, Metadata, Learner Information and Enterprise, and the Further Education Focus Group.

Do screen readers interpret text?

Screen readers such as JAWS, for example, do not interpret the text but rely on punctuation for inflection, such as the full stop, question mark, comma, exclamation mark and other pause charactrs. The punctuation is processed internally in order to give an approximation of inflection.

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