Consider Access in Online Courses

Here are a few easy-to-implement recommendations for considering access as you create your online courses. This post references the this article by Aimi Hamraie.

Basic considerations for everyone:

  1. Add a brief description or alt-text for ALL images
  2. Add caption or transcripts for ALL videos
  3. Save your PDFs with OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

Lecture-based or content-driven courses:

  1. If you are recording a video or teleconference, use apps that can help generate transcripts (high tech)
  2. Alternatively, consider assigning a student to take notes, then share the notes with the whole class (low tech)

Discussion-driven courses:

  1. Encourage students to self-identify when you speak during your synchronous call (high tech)
  2. Create discussion forums in addition to or instead of videoconferences; be flexible with your due dates for participating in these online forums (medium tech)
  3. Alternatively, consider using shared Google Docs for discussion; consider giving students extra time to participate (low tech)

Projects-based assignments:

  1. Encourage students to include image descriptions for all of their visuals. (low tech)
  2. Pre-circulate electronic copies of projects so students can access them ahead of time on their own (low tech)
  3. Encourage digital projects such as podcasts, maps, and interactive timelines but remember to check for accessibility and always include image descriptions (high tech)

We hope you find this useful. Read more suggestions in the article cited above.

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