Technology Enhanced Learning and Accessibility
How you can use technology to help ensure your courses are inclusive and accessible.
Mainstreaming of Adjustments
As part of the University’s Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy, a set of adjustments are now required as standard practice in courses. Staff can use some of the technologies for online teaching and learning to help provide some of these adjustments.
Inclusive Teaching and Learning
More information about inclusive teaching and learning, and the full Inclusive Teaching and Learning Policy, is available from the Institute for Academic Development.
1. Course outlines and reading lists shall be available at least 4 weeks before the start of the course
Outlines should include the broad content of the course, learning outcomes, assessment methods, core texts and resources, and indicate when and where additional information will be available.
- If you use any of the University’s virtual learning environments (VLEs), such as Learn and Moodle, you can post a document containing this information, as a minimum.
- There are standard page types within the VLEs which can present this information in a standard format.
- Guest access to course content could be used to provide student access to this key information pre-arrival.
- Assessment reminders for due dates can be automatically added to a course calendar.
- Other key dates for the course can be added, and the student can see an overview of all the key dates for all of their Courses in a Calendar view (Learn) or Upcoming Events block (Moodle).
- Direct links to a list of core texts can be provided.
2. Reading lists shall indicate priority and/or relevance.
- The Library’s reading list pilot, TALIS Aspire, provides direct links to library copies of resources. It can also be used to let staff easily sort and annotate a reading list, to help students pick out key texts from subsidiary readings. TALIS has been partially integrated to some of our VLEs.
- You can create your reading list inside a VLE. As well as a single sorted list, you can create additional links to readings alongside the relevant course content.
- Where readings are available electronically, direct links to the full readings can be made available via the VLE.
- You can also create links to other relevant bibliographic resources and subject specialist pages.
3. Lecture outlines or PowerPoint presentation slides for lectures/seminars shall be made available to students at least 24 hours in advance of the class.
- Notes, outlines and slides can be presented in the VLEs for download or printing.
- They can be sorted into sequence and associated with other relevant content.
- If appropriate, they can be made available through selective release by date (where this is available). This could help if there are pedagogic reasons for not releasing some content in advance. Students should be informed that more detailed notes will be released after the lecture.
- Notes can also be associated with preparation activities e.g. discussion of readings via a discussion board.
4. Key technical words and / or formulae shall be provided at least 24 hours in advance of the class.
- The Glossary tool in Learn can present definitions using both text and images. Lists of terms can be uploaded to create a glossary automatically.
- The Glossary tool in Moodle can also handle text and images, and can be used to allow students to add to, or comment on, the list of terms.
5. Students shall be notified by email of changes to arrangements/announcements such as changes to courses/room changes/cancellations.
- The email tool inside Learn can easily be used to send emails to all students or a single group such as a tutorial group.
- Reminders such as notifications for course activity can be sent automatically from Learn. Students can choose to receive these as an email digest.
- Learn Announcements can be set to send an email message at once.
- Students using the Mobile Learn app can choose to receive these notifications direct to their phone or tablet.
6. Students shall be permitted to audio record lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions using their own equipment for their own personal learning.
- Dedicated PCs in the UCreate areas of the Main Library and King’s Buildings have audio editing software which can be used to help edit and bookmark audio files.
- Staff may consider providing audio / video resources themselves, which may provide better quality than achieved by student’s own equipment.
- Some teaching rooms are equipped to allow audio and slides to be automatically captured and made available. If you have access to this, consider recording lectures and making them available via the VLE as a matter of routine.
- Through “Video Everywhere” in Learn, staff can very quickly record a short video / audio summary or additional explanation for key portions of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Collaborate virtual classroom sessions can be recorded and made available for review.
7. All teaching staff shall ensure that microphones are worn and used in all lectures regardless of the perceived need to wear them.
- All lecture rooms are equipped with at least one microphone which is maintained by IS staff and locally-based support staff. User guides are available where necessary.
These adjustments will not be removed from disabled students’ Learning Profiles (LPs) at this stage, but guidance to Academics, Coordinators of Adjustments and others will be added as an introductory section of the LPs.
Download this page as a pdf file
Alternative formats are also available: Contact Kelly.Hall @ ed.ac.uk or phone 651 4092.
Creating Accessible Materials
Information Services provide further advice and support on creating accessible online course materials and using online services.