Donovan Frazier, a curriculum development student assistant in UCR Library’s Teaching and Learning Department, has attained a noteworthy achievement as an undergraduate student by having an article published in the highly regarded academic news magazine College & Research Libraries News (C&RL News).
Donovan’s article, "Shifting from reactive to proactive: An accessibility review and revision project", is featured in the January 2023 edition of the news magazine and explores the way in which the UCR Library’s digital learning objects (DLOs) were reviewed for accessibility. C&RL News is read by many in the academic and research library field and Donovan hopes the article is helpful to anyone interested in “accessing their own DLOs and iterating on the process our library designed.”
In the context of the article, DLOs are tutorials created by the UCR Library.
“The library makes tutorials for all types of classes across multiple disciplines,” explains Donovan. “It was very eye-opening to realize how far the library reaches, even if you don't physically walk into the library.”
Under the direction of Arts and Humanities Teaching Librarian Robin Katz and Social Sciences Teaching Librarian Michael Yonezawa, Donovan reviewed existing DLOs for accessibility using 16 accessibility standards and created a color-coded system using a spreadsheet to identify and prioritize accessibility issues.
An example of a high-priority accessibility issue Donovan discovered was a DLO that had no alt text for images. In Donovan’s spreadsheet, this was labeled red to signify a significant change was needed to meet the relevant accessibility standards.
Robin, Michael, and Donovan gave a presentation on their accessibility project for the Digital Pedagogy Institute and it was through this process that the idea of an article for C&RL News was brought up.
Donovan began working on the article in summer 2022 and was pleasantly surprised that the initial feedback he received from C&RL News was to add more detail.
The article has received praise from the Teaching and Learning Department, with staff members also acknowledging the achievement.
“C&RL News is one of the widest-read publications in academic librarianship, and it is rare to see articles from students, especially undergraduates,” says Director of Teaching and Learning Britt Foster. “Just completing the project was a significant and impactful achievement, so it's exciting to see Donovan's work published and disseminated so broadly.”
Donovan completed his studies in December 2022 with a double major in Creative Writing and History and will attend UCR’s commencement ceremony in June 2023. He hopes to find a job in the education field that focuses on e-learning or web design for an educational institute.
“Working in Teaching and Learning definitely sparked my interest in education. I can take the skills I’ve learned from here and directly apply them to those types of jobs.”