Accessibility
  • The American University of Beirut advocates for equal access to education and resources to students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, in the time of crisis, all students are eligible to navigate through accessible resources. Whether your students embody recorded disabilities or not, it is recommended that you provide them with accessible resources to navigate through. Your content on Moodle can be categorized into lectures, resources, discussion forums, and quizzes. It is also essential to review your students’ accessibility need once you decide to deliver technology-enhanced courses. You may examine that through a questionnaire. Yet, regardless of your students’ responses, make sure to upload your content within the accessibility requirements

    ​​​​​​​​​​​I WANT TO ASK MY STUDENTS IF THEY HAVE ACCESSIBILITY NEEDS...

    The questionnaire will help you adapt your lectures and resources to meet all your students' needs. Thus, some of the sample questions you may ask are:

    • Do you have reliable internet at home?
    • Does your computer have a camera in case we need to go live using WebEx or any other video conference tool?
    • Do you have any accessibility challenge that I need to know about so I can adapt the technology-enhanced teaching? (For example: visually impairment, color-blindness, dyslexia, ADHD, hearing disability, etc.). If yes, please specify.
    • Do you have any accessibility request that I need to know about so I can adapt the technology-enhanced teaching? (For example, readings in specific formats, transcription of conversations, specific format of resources). If yes, please specify.

    I WANT TO CREATE AN ACCESSIBLE LECTURE...

    In case you are presenting your lecture 'live' through WebEx or any other tool, make sure you record your lecture. When you share the session recording with your students, include a written transcript that describes the flow of the recorded session.


    In case you are presenting your lecture live while sharing your screen to cover a PowerPoint presentation, and you are aware of a student with hearing difficulties, you can make use of Google slides’ automated closed captioning feature. All you need to do is to open your PowerPoint with Google Slides (on Chrome browser) instead of a local file and click on ‘Present’. Once in slide show mode, click on CC at the bottom of the screen and all what you speak will be captioned live for students. (Keep in mind that the captions are powered by machine learning and heavily influenced by the speaker's accent and voice intonation. They are not a 100% accurate, but could help to the best extent possible).


    In case you are presenting your lecture as a voice-over PowerPoint, ensure that the quality of the audio you are recording is high with minimal background noise. Moreover, include a written transcript to your audio.


    In case you are presenting your lecture as a pre-recorded video, make sure you also include a written transcript with the videos.

    Before sharing any lecture with your students, include video/audio description. Provide students with a brief text describing the different topics discussed in the session, the length of the session, pre-requisites to the session, and any other relevant message the student needs to acquire. You can include the description in Moodle when you upload your lecture.


    Make sure to keep your videos short. Some students have a low-bandwidth internet connection. Accordingly, watching long videos may be interrupted at different times.


    I WANT TO PRESENT ACCESSIBLE RESOURCES...

    Moodle is the learning management system that AUB uses. Accordingly, it is the platform you can use to share resources (images, videos, readings, etc.) with your students. To ensure your resources are accessible, follow the guidelines below:

    • Images should have alternative texts.
    • Shared videos should include captions or transcripts.
    • Microsoft Office documents should be accessible as per the accessibility checker that is already available in the applications.
    • PDF documents should be accessible and readable by assistive technology software.

    I WANT TO CREATE ACCESSIBLE DISCUSSION FORUMS...

    Discussion forums encourage interaction among students. When you initiate a discussion activity, make sure to:

    • Provide students with clear sets of instructions.
    • Divide your forum into groups in case you have a large number of students in your class.
    • Communicate with your students the time frame to complete the activity.
    • If you include color-coded messages in your instructions, make sure you provide another method to highlight your messages, such as changing font size or style.
    • Do not penalize students for grammar and spelling mistakes if you are aware that a student is subject to cognitive disability, such as Dyslexia. Make sure your grade depends on students' logic and flow of ideas.

    I WANT TO CREATE ACCESSIBLE ASSIGNMENTS...

    Assignment is one form of assessment. It comes in different forms. If the assessment is individual paper-based, make sure you provide clear instructions. Try to avoid using colors if you want to highlight certain instructions. If you wish to use colors, provide alternative method to convey the message such as changing the font style (bold, underline, double-underline).


    In case the assignment is a presentation, you may ask your students to pre-record their presentation and upload it on Moodle. Students can provide peer review to one another and add their reflective questions in discussion forums. Another method you can use is live meetings. This is not recommended, though, since some students are moving to live in different time zones than yours.


    Some students require more time to submit an assignment and projects than others. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind the different geographic areas your students are located in. Therefore, it is important to be more flexible with students who are experiencing poor internet connection, in terms of deadlines.


    Moodle has a feature to specify the date of submission. Accordingly, you may take extensions into consideration when individually allocating deadlines on Moodle.

    I WANT TO CREATE AN ACCESSIBLE ASSESSMENT...

    Since assessments will now be technology-enhanced, try to revisit your assessment type. If your midterm exam can be converted into a midterm paper, take this step.


    If you decide to plan an exam, make sure you modify your exams to meet the needs of your students. For example, you may provide different exam versions where students get to choose to submit, based on their learning preferences. Moreover, you may provide a large pool of questions where students choose few to solve, within a specific time.


    In case you are starting an assessment locked within a specific time frame, take into consideration your students who are living in different time zones. You do not want your students to take an assessment at 3:00 a.m. ​


    Some students need additional time during assessments due to specific disability needs. Make sure you give those students additional time in their exams. Moodle has a feature to “selectively" allocate extended testing time. As such, students who usually receive additional time on written examinations should also receive the same extension time for any type of assessment.


    Try to find an alternative to students who have poor internet connection or have no access to the internet.


    We recommend that you revisit your grade distribution and minimize the bulk on one assessment. Students can be passing through a stressful time during the crisis. Try to distribute the grades over more than one tasks.


    I WANT TO PRESENT MY STUDENTS WITH ACCESSIBLE DOCUMENTS...

    This section provides additional tips and guidelines if you wish to present accessible documents to your students. 

    I want to create accessible word documents.

    I want to create accessible PowerPoint Presentations.

    I want to create accessible Excel spreadsheets.

    I want to provide accessible media content.


    I WANT FURTHER SUPPORT...

    For further support on presenting accessible documents, kindly contact:


    Maha Zouwayhed

    mz26@aub.edu.lb

    Ext. 2082

     

    Abeer Obeid

    ao26@aub.edu.lb

    Ext. 2248​​



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