Accessibility and Lecture Recording
Find out how lecture recording can support accessible and inclusive learning.
Students with disabilities are one of the groups that will most benefit from lecture recording. This is a diverse group, with a wide range of individual needs and a variety of existing support in place. The Student Disability Service presented papers in support of the initial business case for lecture recording at the University, and was involved in the Lecture Recording Policy Task Group. Accessibility use cases were included in our procurement and selection processes.
The implementation of Replay is being tailored to support the University's policy on Inclusive and Accessible Learning.
Our approach is widely flexible and enables choices of formats and pedagogy. The lecture recording policy confirms that recordings are primarily an additional resource for students, rather than a substitute for attendance, so the recording and slides provide the ‘alternative format’ to enhance the accessibility of a live-delivered lecture.
Some lecturers’ notes and slides provide considerable text to support the recorded audio. Replay recordings will support a wide range of accessibility and inclusivity needs, including those:
- who are visually impaired;
- who have dyslexia or other learning needs;
- who have autism spectrum disorders;
- who may find physical attendance overwhelming for mental health reasons;
- for whom English is not their first language;
- who struggle with complex technical terms or Latin translations;
- who experience debilitating anxiety as a result of missing classes.
Where students have a schedule of adjustments that includes having a scribe in class with them, a recording will help the scribe clarify areas of subject-specific terminology.
Often it is the use of slides which has the greatest impact on accessibility. Replay itself includes good keyboard controls for the video player, integration with JAWS screen reader software, tab-accessible page navigation and a high contrast user interface.
Recording lectures will require academic colleagues to use microphones, and so the act of making a recording may improve accessibility for those in the room, even if they never replay the video. We are also introducing Catchbox microphones (padded microphones) which can be thrown safely to students to enable their contributions to be captured in the recording.
Replay video experiments with the ability to ‘zoom in’ on chalk boards will considerably enhance accessibility for students at the back of lecture theatres.
Replay recordings will be made available in a closed VLE environment, alongside eReserve texts from the library, PDF and Word documents, lecture slides and so on. Any of these digital materials can be requested in an alternative format as part of supporting reasonable adjustments. In the case of lecture recordings, this could include supplying a transcript or adding subtitles. For other materials, it could be supplying text in a larger font, or converting written text into audio format. We can’t pre-judge what the required adjustment might be in any of these cases.
The following resources are available to support the creation of accessible content:
- Content preparation resources - accessibility (PDF)
- Making lectures accessible
- Creating accessible lectures/tutorials