Notes About Remote Learning for Faculty
Students with disabilities may encounter issues as they transition to remote learning. Here are some examples and our recommended solutions.
Extended time on exams
Extended time on exams is a common accommodation for students with various disabilities.
- Solution: Canvas lets you adjust the amount of time allotted to a given student. Learn more about adjusting exam times to provide accommodations.
Interacting with computer screens
Interacting with computer screens for extended periods of time can be difficult for student with some conditions.
- Solution: Provide course materials in a printable format. Consider using short quizzes instead of longer exams and be flexible with deadlines so students can spread out their screen time during the day.
Asynchronous learning and quick adjustments to course expectations can be difficult for students with disabilities that impact executive functioning.
- Solution: Provide clear expectations and be flexible as students learn a new course format.
Synchronous classes can present barriers to students who having difficulties with technology as they sign in and those who have a disability that may affect class attendance.
- Solution: Be flexible when using synchronous classes. Consider recording sessions so those who were unable to attend can listen to the class at a later time.
Some students with disabilities may have difficulties obtaining a full set of notes in their classes on their own.
- Solution: Peer notetakers already established in a course have been encouraged to continue to take notes and share them through our notetaking portal. Provide copies of your own notes and visual aids to complement synchronous meetings (e.g., Zoom meetings).
Following the spoken word
Following the spoken word can be difficult for some students, such as those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Solution: Provide course materials in an accessible format (e.g., captioned videos). Add captions to recorded Panopto lectures and live Zoom meetings. If you select videos or other external content to enhance your courses, we recommend using resources that already are captioned.
- The Disability Center has reached out to specific faculty who have students in their courses that require captioned videos as an accommodation to provide additional guidance on how to ensure recordings are being captioned.
Creative solutions to accommodations
Some accommodations may not be readily achieved in a remote format. To keep students in their classes and to meet learning objectives, our office is attempting to identify creative solutions to meet students’ needs.
This may require some trial and error on behalf of instructors, our office and students. Providing accommodations is a shared responsibility. Please help us help students by being willing to engage in creative solutions to access.
Please also be willing to consider incompletes if we are unable to identify a solution that will best meet students’ needs.
The UM System has developed the Keep Learning website, which it continues to populate with additional information. This site also provides an article on creating accessible Canvas courses and implementing common exam accommodations.
The Disability Center remains open at this time. We are offering Zoom appointments to students who need to meet with their access advisors and are still in the process of meeting with new students who need to establish accommodation plans. We continue to look at how we can address barriers to learning in the remote environment. We encourage faculty, staff, and students to contact us should needs arise.