Accessible teaching

This guide is a support for you as a teacher to make teaching more accessible to all students at Karolinska Institutet. Adaptations that are necessary for a student with a disability usually benefit the entire study group and can also lead to pedagogical development.

Preparations 

Planning well in advance benefits everyone. The literature lists need to be ready a couple of months before the course starts. Reading of compulsory course literature by the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media, MTM, takes about two months. 

The schedule together with premises also needs to be available betimes, for example when a sign or writing interpreter is to be hired. Avoid schedule changes and room changes. Late changes can make it difficult for everyone and can be extra difficult to manage for some. 

Breaks are necessary for everyone, to be able to keep concentration. Plan frequent breaks. Inform the students at the beginning of the teaching session which times apply for the break or reunion. 

Be clear about which course objectives apply, which knowledge and skills are to be assessed and how they are to be examined. 

Post your teaching material digitally, preferably before the lecture. Students may need to use aids such as reading, magnification, etc., which is why the material needs to be digital. It is also easier to absorb the content of the lecture if you have seen the material in advance. 

Film must be subtitled. Read more about digital accessibility for you as a public actor (in Swedish). Filmed lectures and presentations also need text. There are diverse ways to solve this, contact https://staff.ki.se/teaching-and-learning for support. 

Instructions should be given both orally and in writing. Try your best to express yourself clearly. 

Welcome students with disabilities or functional variation to contact you or, for example, the course director. Perhaps there are simple steps that can be taken to increase accessibility for one or more students. Only the knowledge that the teacher is aware of the disability can reduce stress. The coordinator for students with disabilities can give advice regarding adaptations of examinations or alternative ways of carrying out various course activities. 

Social accessibility 

During the ongoing pandemic, there is a risk that some students will be isolated. The lack of a social context and social accessibility increases the risk of students failing their studies. You as a teacher can help reduce the risk of students ending up outside by creating study groups. Right now, this is probably more important than ever. 

Encourage students to develop working methods, a kind of collaboration agreement, for how they want the work in their group to be conducted. 

Encourage students to contact each other if they have difficulties or have helpful tips on study techniques that work for them. 

Digital teaching  

Always use a microphone / headset. Ask students to use headsets. The sound quality is improved, which is necessary for some, good for everyone. Speak facing the camera so that the listener can read your face. It increases the comprehensibility and thus the perseverance of the listener.  

Read out what you may write on the board. Use black or blue pencil against a white background. Also read out what you show at, for example, Power Point.  

Repeat questions and comments from the audience, so that everyone has a chance to perceive them. Feel free to encourage writing questions in the chat, which you read aloud.  

Record your presentation and save in, for example, the learning platform. Everyone benefits from the opportunity to go back and watch and listen again, for some it is necessary. Be careful not to record the zoom window where participants are visible, but only your presentation. Remember to text saved material (speech, sound and image), or text it already when you create the material. Undervisning och Lärande can give you support in this.  

Digital teaching can be extra concentration intensive. Therefore, be generous with breaks.  

Teaching on campus  

Always use a microphone when there is one. This is necessary for some, good for everyone. A technical instruction is available in each room that has a sound equipment. Speak facing the audience so that they can read your face and movements. It increases the comprehensibility and commitment of everyone.  

Read aloud what you write on the board. Use black or blue pencil against a white background. Also read out what you show at, for example, Power Point.  

Repeat questions and comments from the audience, so that everyone has a chance to perceive them.  

Record your presentation and save it in, for example, the learning platform. Everyone benefits from the opportunity to go back and watch and listen again. Remember to text saved material (speech, sound and image), or text it already when you create the material. Undervisning och Lärande can give you support in this.  

Group teaching 

Teaching that takes place in smaller groups usually becomes more accessible if you keep down the number of participants per group. This teaching is often about practical elements where students are expected to participate actively. All students find it easier to perceive instructions, keep concentration and so on, in a calm environment where one speaks at a time, which of course is easier to achieve in a small group than in a large one. Too much scratching with chairs, or a couple of people talking at the same time, may be enough to temporarily exclude a person with a hearing loss or difficulty concentrating! If you have several small groups running at the same time, spread them in different rooms. 

Clinical courses 

As the teaching at clinical courses differs a lot from the education given on campus, there is reason for extra clarity regarding planning, location, time and place, supervision and so on. Of course, all students benefit from getting such information well in advance, but for some students it is necessary. The student may, for example, need to investigate the accessibility of the premises or arrange practical or mental preparations, to be able to participate fully. 

Examination  

If time is not a critical component of the exam, you can build in extended writing time for everyone. Inform your students that you have built in extra time for increased accessibility so that no one needs to apply for extended time, and that even those who do not have a decision on special support but who need extra time can now get it.   

Strive for common templates for examination assignments.  

Use font size fourteen dots or larger and 1.5 line spacing. Make a clear difference in layout between background information and the question itself.  

Present the questions clearly, logically, and consistently. Avoid long sentences with one or more negations.  

Visit during the exam to clarify questions.  

Vary the examination forms so that students with diverse backgrounds have the chance to perform their best.  

Links

Teaching and learning

Distance teaching and learning

Contact digital teaching and learning

Educator's network

KIPRIME podcast

Functional variations and common adaptations

Towards genuinely inclusive universities

Include

 

Viktoria Hansson

Coordinator for students with functional variations