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Teaching Support for Business Faculty: 7. Curate Content, Including Lectures, that is Accessible to All Students

A guide to resources & tools in support of best practices in remote/online instruction for College of Business & all BGSU faculty.

Curate Content, Including Lectures, that is Accessible to All Students

The instructor offers a variety of accessible content, including lectures, in mixed media forms that allow students to read, listen, view, and engage with the material. This encourages students to intentionally study the information to be more prepared for class events and assignments, enabling the instructor to build upon the content with active learning experiences. 

Additional Resources

Video & Screencasting Tools and Guides

Educational Advisory Board Best Practices: Asynchronous & Synchronous Courses

Asynchronous Remote Courses

Asynchronous course delivery is the quickest and easiest way to migrate a lecture or seminar course online and mitigates many of the access issues students without strong internet connections or WiFi-enabled devices at home encounter. This is also a lower tech option for faculty members unfamiliar with videoconferencing software and other tools of synchronous remote instruction and may be the only available option for students sharing a space with others or responsible for unplanned childcare, eldercare, or other commitments. Of course, asynchronous delivery can be augmented by synchronous office hours, study sessions, or discussion groups.

If you choose to structure your lecture or seminar course for asynchronous delivery, use the following diagnostic checklist to ensure that instructors and students are ready to succeed:

  • Distill key teaching points from your lectures into multiple, shorter videos of 6-10 minutes of content—this maintains student attention and allows them to reengage with the content when necessary
  • If possible, improve accessibility by captioning your lectures with captioning assistance from your institution, student workers or graduate assistants, YouTube’s video captioning tools, or other means. Unfortunately, most free tools are fairly low quality, so a standardized approach should be prioritized in of the next phase of remote course development.
  • Provide guiding questions and review frameworks that accompany all lectures and other course materials to help students engage with these materials in a structured way
  • Do not underestimate the benefit of uploading a written lecture or lecture outline that students can read rather than watch
  • Set clear expectations for when and how students should engage with the course materials that you post online. Give extended windows of time (e.g., multiple days) for students to access, review, and respond to materials to accommodate student schedules affected by the crisis.
  • Set up a discussion for students in your LMS or discussion forum, where they can respond to discussion questions related to course content. Participate at predetermined times to help keep the conversation on track and encourage participation from less active students.
  • Consider assigning roles to students so that they understand when and how they might respond to you, TAs, or their peers. For example, students might adopt a particular perspective from which to respond, or you might ask them to perform particular tasks (e.g., be a summarizer, a respondent, a connector with outside resources).

Additional Considerations for Large Lecture Courses:

  • Given bandwidth restraints and caps on number of participants built into some videoconferencing platforms, asynchronous delivery might be the only option for some larger lecture courses
  • Divide your students into smaller groups and subgroups, and host office hours, review sessions, and other activities with smaller groups to ensure that all students receive instructor or TA attention if they want it. Use subgroups for peer review and think-pair-share-type activities.
  • Set up a peer review of student work, such as homework problem-sets or drafts of writing assignments, with clear instructions for what to consider when reviewing each other’s work. Include a structured worksheet that allows students to respond to guided questions as they review their peers’ work.

Synchronous Remote Courses

Synchronous remote courses allow you to more closely replicate the in-person experience of lecture and seminar courses with real-time discussion. It also provides much-needed contact and community during this stressful time, as students can see and hear one another and engage in a shared pursuit. However, it is also a more high tech and internet-reliant option that requires greater technical proficiency on the part of the instructor, and is less accessible to students with limited or no internet connectivity in their homes or communities.

If you choose to structure your lecture or seminar course for synchronous delivery, take the following steps into consideration:

  • Select and familiarize yourself with a presentation tool(s). Common platforms include:
  • Distill key teaching points from your lessons into multiple, shorter lectures of 6-10 minutes of content broken up with discussion or student-led activities, which maintains and focuses student attention
  • Use breakout rooms to divide students into smaller groups of 20 or fewer to facilitate discussion
    • Option 1: Automatically generate break-out rooms based on the number of “rooms” or groups you want to create
    • Option 2: Manually assign break-out rooms by selecting which participants should be matched within groups
  • Obtain informed consent from students before recording any sessions they’re included in
  • Use videoconferencing tools or discussion forum platforms, to allow students to communicate with one another outside of synchronous class sessions. Limit or eliminate requirements that students meet with one another outside of designated class times.
  • Consider developing a digital “queue” for TA or instructor office hour time, allowing students to sign up on chat or a synchronous word editor such as Google Docs, with the instructor or TA connecting one-on-one or in small groups when they become available
  • Include asynchronous components to the course, such as posting lecture videos, notes, and other materials online, and using discussion forum technology to allow students to connect with you and with one another outside of lectures
  • Consider relaxing in-person participation course requirements to accommodate students with shifting schedules and responsibilities at home, or limited or no internet connectivity (see this Resource Center’s “Accessibility and Equity Considerations in Remote Instruction” section for further guidance)

Additional Considerations for Large Lecture Courses:

  • Divide your students into smaller groups and subgroups, and host office hours, review sessions, and other activities with smaller groups to ensure that all students receive instructor or TA attention if they want it. Use subgroups for peer review and think-pair-share-type activities.
  • Set up a peer review of student work, such as homework problem-sets or drafts of writing assignments, with clear instructions for what to consider when reviewing each other’s work. Include a structured worksheet that allows students to respond to guided questions as they review their peers’ work.