Spring 2020 Information for Faculty/Instructors

Students Needing Accommodations

Some students with disabilities or medical conditions may encounter barriers with remote instruction that were not apparent in in-person classes. Students making these known to you should be encouraged to contact the Accessible Education Center as soon as possible so that appropriate accommodations can be determined and the university can remain in legal compliance.

AEC is a resource for instructors with questions related to specific student accommodations, accessible course design, Canvas accessibility, and accessible digital content. 

Primary Accessibility Considerations Related to Academic Continuity Planning Resource and Guidance

Communicate with students

Suggestions from Guide:
  • Communicate with the entire class using Canvas Announcements.
  • Communicate with individual students using Canvas Email.
  • Communicate with individuals or small groups in real-time using Canvas Chat or Canvas Conference.
Accessibility Considerations/Recommendations:
  • Post Syllabus Statement and invite any students with concerns about course access to communicate with you and reach out to the Accessible Education Center as needed. 
  • Create an accessible syllabus and organize your content and communication in consistent ways.
  • Be flexible - deadlines and strategies may need to be adjusted to create an inclusive learning environment.
  • Encourage students with disabilities to share the best strategies to support them in your remote course. Reach out to AEC if you have questions about making your content, assignments, and activities more accessible.

Deliver instruction

Suggestions from Guide:
  • Deliver a video lecture in real-time from your computer, Conference Tool within Canvas, 
  • Use polling in Canvas Conferences.  
  • Record a brief video lecture for students to watch, Panopto Recordings in Canvas; Add in a Panopto Quiz to promote active learning  
  • Create a voiceover PowerPoint video, Panopto Recordings in Canvas; Add in a Panopto Quiz to promote active learning.
  • Create text-based lecture notes; Upload files to Canvas.
  • Post readings and student reflection prompts; Upload files to Canvas and add a Canvas Assignment.
Accessibility Considerations/Recommendations:
  • For synchronous lectures, consider recording for all students; if not possible must be able to record all lectures for eligible students. 
  • Automated transcripts are available in Zoom.  If you develop a script when recording audio or video, it can also be posted alongside the media as a resource.  
  • Add captions to video content. Set up Zoom for captioning or use the built in Canvas tool, Panopto.  Alternatively, link to videos that are known to be captioned. Recorded lectures or other one-off content should be uploaded to Canvas using Panopto and include captions. 
  • Upload accessible text-based lecture notes or rotate a selected student to provide notes, preferably in Word. Turning on captions can be a resource for the notetaker.
  • Include image descriptions and Alt-text labels for all images, videos, charts, and graphs. Techniques available here: https://webaim.org/techniques/alttext/ 
  • PDFs should be accessible  to screen readers and not image based (if you can copy and paste text out of the PDF, its ok. If you can’t, then it needs to be run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) before uploading to Canvas. Use library resources to find existing articles rather than scanning a personal copy. 

Support active learning

Suggestions from Guide:
  • Facilitate student-to-student conversation, Canvas Discussion, Ideas to promote discussion online.
  • Assign student presentations, Panopto Recordings in Canvas.
  • Assign collaborative activities, Canvas Discussion or Canvas Groups.
  • Assign formative self-check quizzes.
Accessibility Considerations/Recommendations:
  • Establish participation protocol, such as using the raise hand feature, and encourage students to identify themselves before contributing to group discussions.
  • The forum/discussion tool is technically screen reader accessible but can be very difficult to navigate due to volume and lack of navigational structure. It’s important to be organized and consistent when using this tool; break discussions down by topic rather than one long all-encompassing discussion string.
  • For a student relying on captions, each video student response would need to be captioned to be accessible. A typed discussion board is an alternative accessible option.
  • Consider allowing different format options for student presentations.

Assess student learning

Suggestions from Guide:
  • Assign student papers or projects, Canvas Assignment/SpeedGrader.
  • Assign quizzes, Canvas Quiz/SpeedGrader.
  • Evaluate student discussion contributions, Canvas Discussion/SpeedGrader.
  • Evaluate student presentations, Canvas Rubrics/SpeedGrader.
Accessibility Considerations/Recommendations:
  • Please be aware that students may have new accommodation needs that have not been anticipated with a move to remote instruction. Alternatives may also need to be developed if accessibility tools fail. 
  • The more choices/options presented to students to demonstrate learning, the less need there will be to address numerous individual accommodation needs.
  • Use AEC’s Instructor Portal to manage student accommodations listed in the notification letter.
  • To add extended time on exams/quizzes refer to this Canvas guide. Please note that availability windows set in Canvas still apply even after you moderate a quiz to include extended time. For assistance with adjusting availability windows for Canvas exams refer to this guidance from TEP.
  • For specific questions/issues review Accommodations for Remote Instruction (coming soon) or contact the AEC.