Page 39 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
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or exacerbate student disabilities or conditions, so students who typically do not request accom- modations may need them under these cir- cumstances. Students may also have increased caregiver responsibilities. Proactively reach out to students [to offer] support with accommoda- tions and accessibility.
“Recognize that online instruction may pres- ent barriers to students who are d/Deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or with low vision, espe- cially if that instruction is provided primarily in the form of videos or scanned images. Work with faculty to ensure that all videos include accurate captions and image descriptions.
Be aware that automatically generated cap- tions (e.g., from YouTube) are often inaccurate, especially for specialized vocabulary; support faculty in learning how to review and edit cap- tions for accuracy. The same goes for image descriptions; many faculty are not familiar with best practices for alt-text and descriptions and will benefit from support in this area.
“It is also important to keep in mind that not
all online learning content meets accessibility guidelines. Work with faculty to ensure that any videos, simulations or other online resources they are sharing include captions, are screen-reader accessible and provide other accommodation op- tions (such as high contrast or large text). When possible, offer more than one modality for stu- dents to gain knowledge; for example, offer both a reading and an infographic. Consider allowing students to form groups around the type of input that works best for them, then encourage them to switch groups, share what they learned, and learn from each other.” —Joann Kozyrev, VP design and development; Natalie Murray, VP student experience; and Katherine Porter, faculty experience
manager, Western Governors University
What should we do about students who don’t have good internet access?
“Record and send classes and notes offline to those students so they can download and view at a later time.” —Wayne Bovier, founder and CEO at Higher Digital
“Institutions should gather and share informa- tion with students that will help them get online reliably. This may be through local internet ser- vice providers, who may be offering discounts during the crisis, or by loaning out portable ‘mi-fi’ hotspots. Additionally, [ensure that you’re leveraging tools] that provide a great mobile experience where students can engage on a 3G network.” —Carli Tegtmeier, vice president of Sales and Higher Education at Pronto
“Consider summarizing in an e-mail or providing a brief at the beginning of an assignment. Consider using an audio-only version of a video call for those without enough bandwidth to participate. Essen- tially consider how everything could be done from a phone. And if a student encounters connectivity challenges, [figure out] a solution (that might have to be a one-off) for their scenario.” —Kara Longo Korte, director, product management at TetraVX
“Instructors should provide mock exams in advance of the actual exam to help students
get comfortable with the technology and try it out in a low-pressure situation. Students with unreliable internet should be given extra time and leniency in submitting their work. Deadlines should be extended where necessary and results

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