Simple rules for better accessibility of learning content

These days we take it for granted that we can very easily launch MS Word and PowerPoint and throw together some material for our students. Upload it to your VLE of choice and leave it for your students to access when necessary.

For the majority of students this is fine. However for a small minority it is absolutely not acceptable. Every HE institution has a community of hearing and visually impaired. Learning materials need to be written with these individuals in mind. They have every right to have the same resources. Don’t they?

So here are some quick tips that you can use to make your PowerPoint , Word and Excel documents that little bit better for those people using assistive technologies like screen readers. Continue reading

Now more than ever…

As I offer an Introduction to Technology Enhanced Learning and talk with participants on the Preparing to Teach in HE (CPD Session) I am mindful of my own early ventures into teaching some 18 years ago. Indeed, I remember well and fondly my own experiences on such a course when I first joined the academy and started to teach.

At that time all I was really focused on was ‘fire-fighting’ and trying to understand the rules of teaching. How to answer a question I did not know the answer to, how to deal with late students, and, of course, (sticking with the fire metaphor), how to ignite in my soon-to-meet students the enthusiasm and passion for the discipline that I have?

I quickly became aware of the dual professional idea (interestingly something not over pushed at King’s) and the importance of having both a content and pedagogic knowledge.

Continue reading