Page 38 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
P. 38

FEATURE Online Learning
project early — this type of work is well suited to online or remote work.” —Joann Kozyrev, VP design and development; Natalie Murray, VP student experience; and Katherine Porter, faculty experience manager, Western Governors University
How do we make sure our students with acces- sibility issues are being taken care of?
“There are two parts to ensuring that the needs of students with disabilities are being met during the transition to digital courses: accommodations and alternative access plans. First, students may need different accommodations in an online or virtual class meeting than they do for in-person class meetings. Both closed captioning and ASL interpreters may be needed for students who are deaf or who experience hearing loss, but other accommodations may include notetakers, more frequent breaks to account for increased screen time and fatigue as well as navigation assistance with unfamiliar technology. It is important that institutions make students aware of how they can request accommodations should they need them and publish this information with updates regard- ing the transition.
“Institutions that use technology that does not meet accessibility guidelines will need to think through alternative access plans for students affected. This may mean developing alternative assignments and different ways of demonstrat- ing learning. Doing this starts with a review of the learning objectives and goals of the course to determine what is an essential element. Keep in mind that some concepts were taught on college campuses long before educational companies developed tools and programs that do it for us now. Faculty may have to go back to the basics, provide additional resources outside of the inac-
cessible technology and think creatively about developing alternatives. Those alternatives can range from documenting (in writing or via audio or video) what a student would do to complete a task without actually completing it with inacces- sible technology to discussing practical applica- tions that demonstrate the mastery of the skill or competency being assessed. Institutions may also provide assistants, readers and/or scribes to their students with disabilities to meet the learn- ing needs. All of these alternatives will need to be discussed with faculty, disability services and the student to be sure that learning and access needs are met.” —Kelly Herman, vice president, Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion; and Marc Booker, associate provost, University of Phoenix
“Online content should have audio materials ac- companied by text transcripts, and video materials should either have a transcript or be captioned
to accommodate users with auditory handicaps. Teachers and educators should work directly with parents to accommodate students with physical disabilities who may require additional technol- ogy.” —Sara Monteabaro, learning lead, MIT Solve
“[Most] importantly, ask the student [what they need and] how they can be helped.” —Kara Longo Korte, director, product management at TetraVX
“First and foremost, make sure you are connect- ing directly with students and listening to their needs and concerns. What accommodations do they receive, and how do their needs change
if they are working remotely? Be aware that changes to routines, housing, access to medical care, food access, and contagion risk may trigger

   36   37   38   39   40