Take your teaching online
Take your teaching online

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Take your teaching online


This week you have learned about assistive technologies and how users with impairments interact with online teaching materials. You have learned how to make your online materials more accessible, how to produce alternative versions where necessary, and how to consider accessibility requirements when searching for Open Educational Resources. Next you will look at the factors affecting the way you might make a change in your teaching, and you will start planning to move an element of your teaching online.

Rita certainly has something to say about this week’s materials – let’s see how she’s getting on:

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I was quite apprehensive about this week’s topic. I know that there are a lot of different needs and that I could get a student with any of them, at any time. In the classroom it is not usually too difficult to adapt to whatever you are presented with, but I was worried if I did not make my online materials accessible then a student with accessibility needs might get completely stuck, without me being there to immediately resolve the issue as I would in the classroom.
Now I am a little more confident. I know the common accessibility considerations to keep in mind when I create my materials and I think it is interesting that such a wide range of my learners could benefit from improved accessibility. I know that I have to write alternative text for images, transcripts or captions for videos, and alternative formats for learning materials that might be inaccessible. I have quite a few learners where English is their second language. I reckon they would like to read subtitles or transcripts of videos where the speaker is talking fast or using complicated terms, so my accessibility work could potentially benefit those learners, too.
Before I start creating my online learning materials I am going to contact the disability and accessibility specialists at my institution to ask if they have any guidance documents, and maybe to ask if they would look at my materials when I have created them, to see if they can spot any obvious accessibility issues. I would not have had the confidence to do that before, but now I feel that I know enough to make my materials pretty accessible and then they can help me improve them even more.
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