8 Keep it Equitable and Accessible
Moving your teaching to the internet, especially during a global crisis, brings about new concerns for equity and accessibility.
Part access. Part care. FULLY about your context. Equity and accessibility issues can’t be addressed in a couple of paragraphs, they are about committing yourself to understanding all of your students, and meeting them where they are.
The accessibility issues that your students have are not going away because they are working from home. In fact, for some, they have been compounded.
Online learning, for instance, often increases the impact of economic disparity on the classroom. If a learner doesn’t have a dedicated computer in their house, they are going to struggle to participate in synchronous activities. If you only have a phone or tablet, you are going to struggle with multitasking. If you don’t have a strong wifi connection, your experience with many online learning things will be worse. Think about alternatives for students who cannot attend your synchronous sessions. Think about different ways you can design your assignments to allow for students to complete them in multiple ways.
Equity is a commitment, we’ve included some links below to get you started. Engage with your students, get to know them. Examine yourself, understand how your own privilege.
Take an existing assignment and imagine how it will impact students in different situations. Will they be able to do it with a weak internet connection? What about students who have difficulty hearing? Imagine alternate submission approaches that could benefit those learners.