Supporting students in lectures and seminars - Creating an accessible curriculum - University of Derby

Supporting students in lectures and seminars

Supporting students in Lectures

When planning for lectures, the aim is to ensure that any information offered to students is received and recorded in an appropriate way to meet their individual needs. When planning for lectures it is useful to consider the following:

  • How do you ensure that rooms to be used for lectures are compatible with the disclosed needs of all students?
  • Is there a procedure in place for ensuring that lecturers know well in advance of any student who has a disability which may impact on their ability to receive or record information and what adaptations may be required to enable the student to participate?
  • How accessible are the lecture rooms for students with physical disabilities who are wheelchair users?
  • When developing materials for lectures, do you always consider the disclosed needs of all students and make this information available in an alternative format which takes accounts of the needs of all students including those with disabilities?
  • Are all staff aware of what is required to facilitate sign language interpretation or lip reading? (This may include spot lighting if the room is dark, and seating position of the sign language interpreter)
  • Do you use Panopto or other technology to record lectures in order that students can access these following the lecture to reinforce their learning?
  • Do you use an Induction Loop to support students with hearing impairments?

Supporting students in Seminars/Tutorials

Seminars and tutorials afford students the opportunity to reinforce information learned during the lecture and also to engage with the subject area through discussion, worked examples of problems, addressing questions about course material and to give students a chance to present information on a specific topic area. With this in mind consider the following:

  • How do you ensure that you are meeting the needs of all students present in a seminar setting?
    • Example 1 - a student who lip-reads, may need to have the furniture rearranged in order to see everyone in the group
    • Example 2 - Background noise can be amplified by hearing aids and an alternative room may be needed which is quieter, or an induction loop/radio microphone.
    • Example 3 - Students who have a visual impairment may have difficulty in accessing text and may need this in an accessible format well in advance of the session.
    • Example 4 - If a student has a severe difficulty with verbal communication, it would be useful to discuss in advance with the student how they can best contribute.
  • How do you meet the needs of students who have visual, hearing or other impairments when required to do so in a practical classroom setting?
    • Provide opportunities for students to visit laboratories prior to the session in order that they are able to familiarise themselves with the environment.
    • It is important for all students including those with disabilities to share with staff any concerns about safety considerations in practical classes.
    • Substitute alternative activities when any student is unable to carry out the practical task.
    • Modify or adapt equipment or activities wherever possible to allow students with disabilities to participate (Examples include auditory displays of visual information such as talking thermometers, or tactile displays of information which may include instruments which have Braille markings thereon, and adjustable height work-benches whereby equipment is moved to an accessible level).
    • Consider the use of assistive technology for example a visualiser or camera to magnify images.
    • It is important that early negotiation between student and lecturer takes place in order to ensure effective inclusive practice.

Electronic resources

For more information on how to create accessible teaching materials to support your lecture or seminar take a look at the Creating accessible electronic learning resources area of this resource.

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