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How to develop an accommodation plan

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This guide provides some ideas on how to accommodate a portion of the students in your course that have an official accommodation for online/remote learning. The strategies included here aim to provide an acceptable learning experience for students, while balancing the workload for the instructor. The strategies are effective, but not overly strenuous - the most bang for your buck! Depending on your case, you might have to extend the accommodations for specific requirements; these are a suggested starting point and could be implemented in any course.

This guide is NOT a guide to developing an online course. If you're thinking about teaching entirely online, please see our guides on developing an online course.

1. Record (and share) your course activities

Since students will not be able to physically attend your class activities, it is helpful to record and share the sessions.

1.1. How do I record and share activities?

  1. Select a lecture capture solution that works for you (see the review of in-person Lecture Capture options)
  2. Select how you will share the recordings to your students (see which hosting/video streaming service is right for you)

Do you want to limit video access to a small group of students? If yes, save your files in your OneDrive (see how to share OneDrive files) and share access to the recordings to a select group of students. It is always recommended to communicate to the students that the videos should not be shared. And while this precaution can prevent some copying, there is no way to 100% prevent copying and sharing.

2. Incorporate a discussion board

Asynchronous activity in a course can enable interaction between remote and in person students, provides a channel for remote students to participate in the course.

2.1. How do I incorporate a discussion board tool?

  1. Select a tool from the Academic Toolbox to use as your Quercus discussion tool (see the review of asynchronous discussion board tools)
  2. Assign marks to a Quercus discussion board (see how do I assign a graded discussion?)

3. Hold online office hours

Online office hours benefit all students; some simply prefer it! By making yourself available to remote students virtually, you're giving them the chance to foster the relationship that they miss out on by not being able to attend in person.

3.1. How do I host online office hours?

  1. Select a webinar/video conferencing tool (see which webinar should I use and when?)
  2. Schedule availability (see how do I use the Quercus calendar as an instructor?)
  3. Announce this schedule to your students (reminding them periodically throughout the course)

Do you have teaching assistants? Ask your TAs if they would be interested in hosting online office hours; another chance for student to interact!

4. Send a weekly announcement to remind students of upcoming deadlines and events

One of the trickiest things with remote learning is that it's easy to get lost; you lose the natural updates at the start of sessions. Online, we have to work a little harder to build in signposting, helping students move from one activity to the next, flowing from week to week.

4.1. How can I use announcements to communicate with students?

  1. Send a weekly update about your course (see how do I post an announcement?)
  2. In your modules, create a page that references the weekly to dos (see how to create a page in a course?)

5. Use online assessment tools

Instead of having to create two versions of your assessment, consider using an online assessment for your entire course. This is likely best suited for lower stakes assessments, early in the term.

5.1. How do I use online assessments?

  1. Select an assessment tool from the academic toolbox (see online assessment tools to support formative and summative assessment)
  2. Plan for the unexpected (see creating a contingency plan for your assessment)
  3. Set specific time and date parameters for specific groups of students (see setting due dates/availability for course sections or specific students)
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