In an accessible higher education institution, the university’s facilities, learning environments, teaching methods and attitudes enable inclusion and equality for students and staff with diverse personalities and life situations. Accessibility in teaching means, for example, that the teaching itself, including the materials needed, is accessible to the widest possible range of learners. While clarity of assignments and structure, or subtitles on videos, will benefit all learner, but for some learners it may be crucial to their progress.
This tip focuses specifically on accessibility in relation to course content. The following checklist brings together accessibility issues to consider when starting a new course.
- All the relevant information can be found at the top of Moodle course area: Zoom link, meeting dates, information relevant to the completion of the course. A permanent link can be used for online meetings. Past meetings can be crossed out of the schedule.
- In the right sidebar of Moodle, add your contact details and photo. You can add a text block in edit mode from the left navigation bar.
- Remember to mention all the alternative ways of completing the course . They should also be mentioned in the Peppi/Sisu course plan.
- Publish all relevant information, such as assignments, timetables and assessment criteria, at the beginning of the course.
- Post the lecture notes on Moodle before the lecture starts. This can be a big help for those who find it difficult to concentrate.
- Enliven your materials with visual effects, but in a moderate way so that the structure does not become cluttered. Usually, the colours and fonts of the finished presentations have already been thought of.
- Pay attention to maintaining a positive and diversity-accepting atmosphere during the course. An accepting attitude can be seen in the choice of words, in the way assignments are written, for example, in a way that breaks stereotypes, and in a culture of discussion that is open to different opinions.
- Prefer a variety of learning materials such as podcasts and webinars to traditional written sources. Not everyone is a natural reader and fortunately there are already a wide range of ways to access theoretical materials.
- Be clear both in Moodle at the beginning of the topic and at the start of the lectures about what will be covered. Often a few French lines on the main topics will suffice.
- Recommend to students study skills services and well-being support, such as Sparris and Parvi.
Tip by Miina Kivelä, Senior Lecturer, Digimentor