Information Services

Making lectures accessible

Ways to make lectures more accessible for all students.

There are several simple things you can do to improve the accessibility of your lectures. Our advice depends on where the lecture is held (on campus or online using a virtual classroom) and is based on our Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy

Lectures held on campus

Currently, this will only be possible for groups of fewer than 50 students. 

General 

  • Make lecture materials accessible (follow the advice for Teaching Resources) and available at least 24hrs ahead (in line with Mainstreaming Adjustments). 

  • Wear a microphone (essential if the lecture is being recorded but also required in case anyone in the room is using a hearing aid) (in line with Mainstreaming Adjustments); remember to replace your microphone to recharge it before leaving the classroom. 

  • Make sure your face, and especially your mouth, can be seen by the audience (especially for anyone lip-reading) and avoid standing in front of a window (as it casts your face into shadow). 

  • Record your lecture to make it available for student to watch or re-watch at different times. 

  • Recording your lecture is a simple way to create an alternative version of your live event. 

Recording lectures in a classroom 

  • Media Hopper Replay is the University’s centrally supported lecture recording service; we have some guidance on how to use Media Hopper Replay. Unless you opt out, our lecture recording system scheduler will record your lecture without any extra effort from you.  

  • Let students know the session will be recorded and what is being captured; offer an opportunity to ask questions when the recording is paused or after the recording has ended. 

  • In some large lecture theatres, the recorded video stream will give a better (zoom in) view of the writing surfaces (chalkboards) for those seated at the back of the room. 

  • Options on playback speeds and pause/play offer students the chance to engage deeply with your lectures and supports their notetaking. 

  • A transcript is automatically generated for all new content added to Media Hopper Replay, which can then be turned into captions; there is a quick reference card that covers how to do this and a full guide

  • Share the guidance on how to get the most from lecture recordings with your students. 

  • For more information about how lecture recording can support accessible and inclusive learning: Accessibility and lecture recording

  • You may also find reading the Lecture Recording Policy useful. This policy has been developed to ensure that:  

    • Provision of recorded lectures is comprehensive, consistent and efficient and enhances the student experience.  

    • Students, teachers, visiting presenters and academic managers are clear on their rights and responsibilities when lectures are recorded. 

 

Lectures held online 

Currently, this is recommended for groups larger than 50 students. 

This can be done by sharing a pre-recorded lecture, streaming a lecture via Media Hopper Replay, or hosting a ‘live’ lecture using a virtual classroom (such as Collaborate or Zoom).  

  1. Pre-recorded lectures 

  • Follow guidance on how to use the Media Hopper desktop recorder
  • Share pre-recorded lectures via your Learn course; make sure the files have meaningful names (so students can anticipate what they contain) and if in a folder that it has a name which students can easily interpret. 
  • Recordings can be made more accessible by adding captions.  
  • You may want to consider breaking up longer videos into sections, either by subdividing into a few shorter videos, or adding pauses with prompts for students to take part in an activity (e.g., answering a question, writing a reflection) before moving on. 
  • Share the guidance on how to get the most from lecture recordings with your students.  
  • Dr Sarah Ivory talks about how to stay focused in pre-recorded lectures, and at other times like reading articles or books. She explores why focus is so important, and provides advice on how to focus. In the current context, with so many students learning remotely and alone, this is an incredibly useful investment of time for all students trying to make the most of this learning environment. 
  1. Streaming a lecture  

  • Live streaming a lecture ensures that students who are not in the room with you can watch it live on the web via Learn.  
  • Follow the same advice for lectures held on campus.
  • You can live stream a lecture by following our guidance on how to  Record and Stream using the Media Hopper Replay Universal Capture application. 
  • Share the link to your streamed video(s) on Learn, making sure your students know this is happening and how to find this link well before the lecture begins. 
  • After the recording finishes and is processed, Media Hopper Replay produces a transcript which can then be turned into captions. 
  • Make lecture materials (handouts etc.) accessible (follow the advice for Teaching Resources) and available at least 24hrs ahead (in line with Mainstreaming Adjustments). 
  1. ‘Live’ online lectures using a virtual classroom 

General 

  • Provide advice to enable participants to take part in the session, including the link, advice on hardware and software (including browser) etc. ahead of the lecture. 
  • Make lecture materials accessible (follow the advice for Teaching Resources) and available at least 24hrs ahead (in line with Mainstreaming Adjustments). 
  • Rather than rely on the integral computer microphone, use a headset to pick up your voice rather than background sounds; position the microphone below you mouth so that it does not pick up the sound of your breathing, and does not obscure your mouth (for anyone lip reading). 
  • At the start of the session, check that your audio and microphone work and help students do the same, so you know they can participate; let them know what to do if they have technical difficulties (e.g., issues with their network meaning that they cannot use the microphone or turn their camera on) during the session. 
  • For Q&A during a session, allow extra time for students to compose questions and the option of using the microphone or typing into the chat pane. 
  • Make sure your face, and especially your mouth, can be seen by the audience (for anyone lip-reading); have a plain background behind your head, do not sit in front of a window (as it casts your face into shadow).  
  • The different virtual classroom/meetings tools (i.e., Collaborate, Teams and Zoom) have different approaches to which cameras, spotlights and views are available; experiment with which features are helpful to you in making your teaching accessible and aim to offer consistency to your students by using the same one each time. 
  • For more information:  Guidance on how to make remote teaching more accessible to those with hearing impairments or those who are deaf. 

Recording lectures 

  • Let students know the session will be recorded (in case they want to make arrangement such as to switch off their camera); offer an opportunity to ask questions after the recording has finished. 
  • Ask everyone who is not speaking at the time to mute their microphone. 
  • Offer an opportunity to ask questions after the lecture (especially for those who cannot be in the live session).  
  • After uploading the recording to Media Hopper Create, you can request automatic subtitles be added to them which you can edit if necessary; details are available via a video on Subtitling Media Hopper Videos and there are also Subtitling for media creators training sessions. 
  • Share the guidance on how to get the most from lecture recordings with your students. 
  • For more information about how lecture recording can support accessible and inclusive learning: Accessibility and lecture recording
  • You may also find reading the Lecture Recording Policy useful. This policy has been developed to ensure that:  
  • Provision of recorded lectures is comprehensive, consistent and efficient and enhances the student experience.  
  • Students, teachers, visiting presenters and academic managers are clear on their rights and responsibilities when lectures are recorded. 

 

Further information 

ISG promote Universal Design to encourage thinking about how to make teaching using technology inclusive and accessible for all: this includes providing scheduled training sessions