COVID-19 Faculty

Reducing Barriers in an E-Learning Environment

“A collaborative effort”

Learning accommodations are intended to provide equal access to education by removing barriers for students with documented needs.  Accommodations must be reasonable and they should not diminish the expectation of knowledge or skill.  The internet provides endless resources for implementing accommodations in an online learning environment. Improving access to online education means, among other things, ensuring that your online course materials, teaching and learning activities, and assessments are accessible for all learners   Please see below for some useful information.

Resources and Tips for testing accommodations (adapted from Stephanie Lancaster, EdD, OTR/L):

  • Schedule exam at a different time for the student with accommodations
  • Provide multiple versions of the same test
  • Change the format of testing/assessment from multiple choice to:
  • Consider giving mini-assessments rather than a standard midterm/final exam. If that format is used, it may also be feasible to require each learner to identify a resource to justify their response for each item on the test (listing a page number in a textbook, etc.) - there is evidence that doing so facilitates learning and longer-term storage of information, plus it reduces random guessing and answer-sharing between classmates.

Resources and Tips for improving materials for visual, auditory and processing diversity:

Resources and Tips for Universal Design for Learning:

  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Accessible science labs
  • Allow students to submit video or audio responses instead of written responses
  • Provide syllabus and learning materials in advance to allow for students to plan

Software-specific tools for Accessibility

If you have additional concerns that were not addressed above, please use the following here to request 1-on-1 consultation from the Abilities Office.