Inclusive teaching tips: Supporting students transitioning online

MAR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
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While we continue to transition our students online during this period of change we can’t assume the transition will be equally smooth for all. Planning can help you support students who may have health concerns, financial difficulties and less than ideal study conditions at home. Some will have been feeling anxious about whether they belonged at university and around one-quarter will have some kind of underlying mental health condition that may be exacerbated right now.

Acknowledge anxiety and offer supports

Many students will be concerned about their health, finances and loved ones. Around 25% will have an underlying mental health condition that may be exacerbated. Acknowledge their concerns, open respectful discussions about them, provide links to information and be available by email/Skype.

Provide accessible, flexible learning resources

Provide alternative, low-bandwidth formats such as video/audio transcripts, lecture notes and low resolution images. Record BB Collaborate, Zoom and other real-time seminars. Make resources digitally accessible as far as possible, and work with students and the Disability Resource Centre to find options that work for students with access difficulties.

Help students develop digital literacy

Provide links to UniStart Deakin’s digital tools, guides for CloudDeakin, Skype, and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra as well as the IT Help Desk. Demonstrate how to use e-learning technologies in (recorded) seminars and classes.

Create a nurturing learning environment

Work with students to set a class code of conduct for online discussions to foster a safe, supportive learning environment where they will feel confident to ask questions and participate in discussions/group work. Model respectful communication and moderate discussions actively to maintain their safety.

For further information on teaching inclusively online please visit ICCB’s Teaching Online recources here.

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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