You’ve just made a heroic effort to rapidly transition your course to online delivery in response to a campus closure. It’s important now to take a moment to consider how your students are adapting, and the equity and access issues resulting from this change in delivery.

For students learning remotely at home, these challenges may include limited access to computers, high-speed internet, campus support services, and a lack of social connection with peers and instructors.

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While you may not be able to solve every barrier to access, incorporating a few simple techniques into your teaching can help provide a more inclusive learning experience for all.

The three strategies outlined below draw from Universal Design for Learning principles, which emphasize:
• Providing learning materials in multiple formats and modalities that meet diverse learner needs and preferences.
● Providing opportunities for students to engage in reflective practice, make relevant connections to learning objectives, and collaborate with peers.
● Providing students with options for how they demonstrate their understanding of course objectives.

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About the Author:

John Scott is a Product Manager for Blackboard Ally. Prior to joining the Blackboard Ally team, John completed his PhD in Learning Sciences and New Media at the University of California Berkeley, where he designed, taught, and researched online learning courses focused on collaborative learning, multimodal literacy, and Universal Design for Learning. He spent 4 years as a literacy and arts teacher in New York City public schools, earning a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and specializing in technology-mediated literacy and learning. He has published and presented at professional research conferences on digital literacies, networked learning, and global education.