Over the last thirteen months of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant quarantine in the United States, we’ve all had to make a lot of adjustments in how we live, work, teach, and learn. As we look ahead to vaccinations, herd immunity, and the end of lockdown, many people are eager for a “return to normal.” But there are many people who have benefitted, even flourished, from remote working and learning. In education, strategies for remote learning can make classes far more accessible for some disabled students. Remote Learning & Accessibility One of the biggest benefits of remote learning is having
At Northwestern, our 10 week terms are already fast-paced. So what happens when the term is shortened by a week, and you have only nine weeks to accomplish your goals as an instructor? How do you decide which content to combine, alter, or even remove? This short guide will outline a few strategies you can consider to modify your course activities, assessment, and content to meet students’ needs within a constrained timeframe. Download a copy of the Nine Week Assessment Alternatives tip sheet. Pre-Work, Examples, and Best Practices What is pre-work? Pre-work is exactly what you think it is. It
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are often praised for being more accessible than standard textbooks. In this context, accessibility often refers to low or no costs, or to how students can obtain the resource just by clicking a link. But accessibility also has another meaning: can disabled people access the resource? And in this sense, OERs are no better than the competition. According to UDL on Campus, a 2011 survey of OER textbooks found that nearly half the web-based textbooks (42%) had significant accessibility problems. And of the PDF textbooks, none were accessible to disabled users. This is a tremendous concern.
The cost of commercial textbooks can be a roadblock to student learning, but open textbooks offer high quality alternatives to instructors. According to US Public Interest Research Group, upwards of 65% of students decide against buying a textbook because of cost. Librarians at Northwestern have identified open and free textbook options relevant to courses taught within SPS. In this webinar, Northwestern librarians Chris Diaz and Lauren McKeen discussed the state of textbook costs and shared how open educational resources can provide alternatives to commercial textbook options. Participants learned about high-quality open textbook resources, heard examples of open textbook use in
This summer, AccessibleNU hosted their second UDL Workshop series. A cohort of faculty and academic staff, including Learning Designer and IDS instructor David Noffs and Senior Content Specialist Christine Scherer, learned about universal design for learning and best practices to design and teach courses that are welcoming and accessible for all students. The workshop series was packed with information and resources. Here are five of our top takeaways, plus tips on how to start incorporating UDL into your class! Takeaway #: For some, learning is not as easy as it looks. One of the biggest challenges faced by disabled and