Assessing Knowledge and Practice Gaps: Opportunities for Skills-Based Professional Development



  • Deborah Dorsey, Project Manager, Maryland Online

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


MarylandOnline, a consortium of 20 community colleges and senior institutions, deployed a survey to assess knowledge and practice in creating and/or using perceivable online learning content. Results varied greatly among both institutions and institutional roles, suggesting the need for a tailored approach to skills-based professional development.


Knowledge and practices impact an institution’s ability to offer an online environment where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to access web content. MarylandOnline deployed a survey to assess potential gaps in knowledge and practices with the intent of using results to deliver professional development in creating and/or using perceivable text and time-based media. This presentation will share the results of the survey, propose that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to professional development may not favor positive outcomes if it is not meaningful and relevant to the institution, and explore how professional development can be tailored to meet individual needs.


  1. Knowledge and practices vary greatly among institutions.
  2. Creating and using perceivable web content is a skill many content creators lack.
  3. Tailored professional development may produce better outcomes.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Faculty Instruction/Accessible Course Design, Including Accessibility in Curriculum, Information Technology, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Deborah Dorsey

Debbie Dorsey holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Louisiana State University and is a Higher Ed QM Peer Reviewer, Secretary for the Maryland Distance Learning Association, and graduate of the Maryland Online Leadership Institute. Debbie provides leadership to the Education, Welllness and Community Engagement Division at Harford Community College, collaborating with faculty to implement universal design best practices in both classroom and online learning environments.