Accessibility is one of the most important things to consider when you are hybrid teaching. You don't want students to miss out on parts of your program because their access is obstructed. This means you have to consider different scenarios, in which no audio, visuals or stable internet connection is available. You also have to consider the personal circumstances of the students, whether they have health issues, psychological difficulties, a family to take into account or a child on the way. Leiden University offers extra support to students in need, but you can assist them by integrating accessibility in your teaching.
During four different phases of your teaching, you can ensure that it is accessible to everyone: Designing and preparing your teaching, producing the media material, the actual teaching activity, and assessing your students.
Design & preparation
- Flipping your classroom is advisable. This means that students read study material and make assignments outside class, so the in-class time can be used for discussing, practicing, and assessing. Make material available in different ways. Variation is key. For more information, read this page.
- Make use of closed captioning on the different video platforms. In this way, all students can follow the online lecture. It can help foreign language students or students with a learning disability and it can improve the retention and focus of the students. It's possible to use closed captioning on Microsoft Teams, Kaltura Live Room, and Zoom.
- Subtitle any video or audio clip and let students know when that is available. Transcripts and annotations of online material are helpful to any student. For more information about transcribing your recordings, take a look at the Videoportal (Kaltura MediaSpace) or the Microsoft Support page about saving the transcriptions as a Word document (only available for English transcriptions).
- Balance visual and audio material.
- Use Word documents rather than PDFs. Make sure PDFs and websites are readable for text to speech tools.
- Create an online community where students can ask questions afterwards (e.g. in discussion forums in Brightspace).
- Communicate with your students. It is important that students know how to reach you. Think about creating online office hours so students can pose questions and making sure they have your email address. You can communicate or contact your students yourself in the following situations:
- If you are aware that certain students have extra needs. These needs can also include technical needs, like a good computer, a stable internet connection, etc. You can coordinate fit for purpose solutions with study advisors and the Fenestra Disability Centre.
- About the expectations, formats, and requirements of your program. You can communicate this through email or Brightspace.
- Create a Frequently Asked Questions sheet (FAQ sheet) in Brightspace.
Production of media
- Check the video toolkit on the Leiden University website for general tips.
- Talk directly to the camera for lip reading purposes.
- Your webcam should be steady.
- Speak steady and not too quick. If any students think you are too slow, they can watch the clip at a quicker speed.
- Cut your video or podcast into small chunks of 6 to 10 minutes.
PowerPoint & documents:
- Prepare your PowerPoint or document beforehand and make it available in Brightspace.
- Create a clear consistent structure.
- Use a clear font (Like Helvetica, Arial, Verdana or Calibri).
- Use minimum font size 10 with 1,5 point rule distance.
- For more information, read this page.
- There are data privacy concerns with recording sessions, but it is very beneficial to be able to watch recordings afterwards for all students. Consult these Privacy Guidelines on how to handle recordings or discuss with your Privacy Officer how to do this safely.
- Teaching and learning online costs a lot of energy. Be sure to check at regular intervals with your students if they are still able to absorb the information.
- Make use of activating teaching activities during your lectures.
- Involve a student (assistant) as a moderator in your class. This can be a student who gets that role and rotate this role each week. Allow students to (collaboratively) make notes of your lecture in the chat or in a shared document (e.g. OneDrive). For more information, read this page.
- Start Kaltura Live Room in Webinar mode, which mutes all mics and allows a Q&A after your presentation.
- Inform students generously ahead of time about any assessments (at least 5 days ahead): What is the form of the assessment, what is the location/tool, and when are the deadlines?
- Keep deadlines flexible and longer (e.g., give students a day instead of 3 hours to complete an assessment) and try to keep it as asynchronous as possible.
- Trust over surveillance. Do not automatically presume that there shall be fraud by applying complicated countermeasures.
- For more information about digital assessments, please read this page.