In online learning, it is apparent that we cannot merely transfer “in-seat” materials to the web without establishing a foundation of minimum standards and best practices on which to build quality. Similarly, in choosing course materials, we must work to create a well-rounded set of avenues that will fully develop our online courses.
THERE IS NO NEED FOR COURSE ENHANCEMENTS TO BE COMPLEX AND HARD-TO-USE.
Many course developers explore complex concepts and tools that may not be suitable for everyone. With this in mind, we assembled some enhancements for online courses that you can consider:
- Structure Student Communication, Announcements, and Discussions
- Posting Course Materials/ Course Content Files
- Assistance with Video Capture for Lectures
- Creation of Assessment Assignments with Subject Matter Expert Guidance
- Creation of Branching Scenarios/ Simulations Complementing Course Material
- Assess Student Learning: Assistance with Assessment Options: LMS “built-in” Quiz/ Test makers, PDF exams, Google Drive, as well as the collection of student assignments and assessments
COURSE ACCESSIBILITY: TYPICAL LMS COMPONENTS MAY HAVE BARRIERS TO ACCESSIBILITY
- Navigation: Many LMS contain menus, icons, and visuals to navigate class sections, such as tutorials or discussions. LMS interfaces can often be frustrating or counterintuitive. Also, icons or images may not have alt-tags. We can review the components of the LMS used and determine accessibility levels.
- Lecture: Instructors frequently create lectures for student learning. Some utilize applications such as “lecture capture,” where the professor is the “voice over” for a slide show or other presentation. In some cases, professors use their webcam to construct their lectures. Each approach has potential limitations with accessibility. We ensure all class videos provide the captioning and appropriate audio capability. A document describing the video will also be developed.
- Reading Assignments: Reading exercises commonly complement lectures. Readings may be connections to web sites, other electronic content, text papers, or PDFs. These outside sources may not be accessible. Our instructional designers can assist instructors in ensuring that articles and other course materials are available.
- Discussions: Asynchronous discussions may be more useful for students with disabilities than real-time discussions, as students have time to absorb and react to their reading material. Many LMS discussion structures have multi-level threads that may be challenging to access, particularly for students with vision or visual impairments. Allow us to help you structure the discussions to restrict excessive level threads.
- Assessments: Typically, learners with disabilities may require additional time to read, process, and react to test objects. Many LMS has a function to change the time allotted for individual students or all students. Furthermore, assessment items should be comprehensible by text-to-speech applications.
ENHANCED TECH SUPPORT
Work with your IT Department to create “enhanced tech support” (ETS) experience. In ETS, technicians exceed the primary tech support to build “standard operating procedure” documents along with a search knowledge base for self-service tech support. This includes training faculty and students to use applications such as your LMS, ZOOM and a variety of other applications.
Enhanced Tech Support includes:
- Building Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Documents
- Design/ Custom Implementation of Tech Support Campaigns
- 24/7 Telephone, Chat and Email Support
- Academic/ Technical Support
- Building Online-Student Orientation Sessions Content
- Webinars for Faculty/ Students
- Recording Your Lectures: Assistance with Recording Lectures using Panopto or Camtasia.
- You are meeting Your Students Online: Assistance with Scheduling Class Meetings using Zoom Video Conferencing.
- Enabling Zoom for Virtual Office Hours- Meet with Students Via Webcam; Share a Computer Screen or Collaborate using Zoom’s Whiteboard Feature.