How Open Educational Practices Support Student-centered Course Design & Accessibility

How Open Educational Practices Support Student-centered Course Design & Accessibility

– [Preston] Great, well
thank you very much and welcome, everyone, to
today’s CCCOER presentation on open educational practices
and how they support student-centered course
design and accessibility. This is a topic of interest to me and I’m very happy to be here today sharing the stage with our presenters. If you’re not familiar, CCCOER is a Community College Consortium
for Open Educational Resources and is an organization
that has been instrumental in helping lead the expansion
of open educational resources, open practices and open sharing, not only among community
colleges in the United States, but also among institutions worldwide. I am very happy today to
have our two guest speakers, who are going to be
discussing different ways that we can use universal design
and open educational practices to help with accessibility issues. Once we have a opportunity
for our presenters to share their information,
we will certainly have opportunities for you
all to ask questions. Please, at any point in time, feel free to enter questions in the Chat, and we will get to those
questions as best we can. Today, our presenters include Tara Buñag, who is the Senior Instructional Designer at the University of the Pacific. We also have Suzanne Wakim,
who is the OER Coordinator and Biology Faculty Member
at Butte Community College. As we discuss these
issues, just keep in mind that this is something that fits very well with the mission of the
Community College Consortium for Open Educational
Resources as we do seek to expand awareness and
access to high-quality OER and support faculty choice, as well
as improve student success. There are lots of institutions who are active members of CCCOER. Hopefully, many of you are
members of such institutions. If not, I would encourage you to look more closely at CCCOER and what the organization is able to offer. But you can see that we have quite a large footprint
throughout the United States and our footprint is growing regularly. Every time there is one of these webinars, it seems that there is a new pin on the map of the United States and that’s something that
we always like to see. Now, I would like to bring in our speakers so that we can get right down into the topic of how open
educational practices support student-centered course
design and accessibility. I’m going to now turn this over to Tara. Thank you very much, Tara. – Thank you, Preston. My name’s Tara Buñag, as you mentioned. I am Senior Instructional Designer here at University of the
Pacific in Stockton, California. We have three different
campuses of the university at Stockton, San Francisco and Sacramento. I support all three campuses, but I am also a faculty member. I was teaching educational statistics, ES graduate-level courses, last semester. I also support ADA and OER initiatives across the university. Suzanne, did you? – Sure, I can introduce myself. Suzanne Wakim from Butte Community College in Northern California. I am the OER Coordinator here. And, in my role as biology faculty, I’ve designed, I think
something near 20-some courses that are both been online,
on-site at all different levels and so that’s kinda part of
where my piece is coming from, is how I’ve designed those in relation to some of the work I’ve done
with equity and accessibility. Thanks, Tara. – [Tara] Thanks, Suzanne. I’m going straight into
my presentation here. So, open educational
practice for accessibility. As an overview, we’ll go over what some of the challenges were, the accessibility issues
that I encountered, why an OER approach, actually,
ended up solving the issues and how it helped to transition
failure into success. The challenge. I was, as I mentioned,
teaching a graduate-level doctoral course in educational statistics. Those of you that have
a education background probably took this course at some time. But it’s very intense. It’s a highly-visual course, but it needed to be delivered
to a student who was blind. The course was in an
independent-study format, so it’s a hybrid modality,
very limited in-person format. Less than two months before the semester, and, although the existing
textbook was good quality, it, I found out in July I would
be teaching this course, and it wouldn’t be able to be converted into a accessible
format until October. The course was going to start in August and so that was simply not going to work. Even if it could be converted, it wouldn’t necessarily
convert it in a way that was truly accessible to that student. So, I decided to go with
a different approach. For the initiative, I
needed to make sure that I met the same objectives at the same level as other students, make sure that the materials are easily modifiable on the fly because, had a very short timeline, so some of those things
wouldn’t necessarily be fully implemented and ready to go day one. I needed to make sure that there was immediate access to the content and non-visuals for everything visual. I’ll explain a little bit
about why I specifically say “non-visual” as opposed to
a specific format there. The big challenge was,
this was a hybrid course. We met in-person only once per month. That meant that a lot
of materials had to be created beforehand and I
didn’t have a lot of time to be able to do trial and error. I had to be able to adapt right away. I started with the
OpenStax Statistics book. It’s, if you’ve taught statistics, if you’re really familiar with OpenStax, this one’s been around for awhile. It’s a good quality book. And it has some great features. There’s a lot of different formats for it. It aligns to all the low-level objectives that were in this graduate
statistics course. Lots of examples. It’s really accessible. The Creative Commons license allows for a lotta different modifications and it has a lot of different
materials with it. But, this was, it’s an
introductory statistics book. It was very low level for the
class that I was teaching. It’s not education-specific, so there’s some topics that are missing. It doesn’t include SPSS, whereas graduate-level statistics course
is gonna include some SPSS. It didn’t have the
comprehensive data files that we needed to look at, and it was a very visual focus. It’s a very good book, but
there’s this challenge of, how do we take all of this visual content and make it not visual? Before the class, I went through and I modified all of the
materials to make sure that they were in
multiple digital formats. I included a lot of different media, so taking and finding YouTube videos, identifying some critical visuals so, what visuals were going to be needed to be converted into something else. And also looking at how I
might modify across the senses. I think often, when we think
about modifying materials that we find in open
educational resources, we think of keeping it within that format. We change a visual into
a different visual. We change the colors, or
we change the text to, some have wording that’s
more like what we would say if we were writing it. But, it’s very easy to convert
OER between the senses. I’ll show some examples
of what I did there. And also, I made sure
to do a lot of testing. If you are doing work in accessibility, if you’re doing accessibility design, so you can make sure
whether there are designers, but if you are creating materials, getting NVDA, which is a freely-available screen reader is really valuable. It can give you a really
good idea of what the open educational resource
that you’re working with actually sounds like to somebody who’s using a screen reader. And that is a, it can be a really
life-changing experience when you listen to your
materials using a screen reader. Also, a lot of hands-on testing. I tested materials. I actually tested with other people that, whoever I could get to stand still. Just getting an idea of a
wide-range of different materials. Kinda the basic principles
behind universal design, which will be talked about in the, when Suzanne’s presentation. Digital materials are the most obvious. I made all of the materials, all of the content into Canvas pages. I also did a PDF format
with the table of contents and an MS Word document
with the table of contents. Once I had the materials in one format, it was very easy to switch between them. It ended up being a very, very advantageous approach
because I could actually provide the materials in
a format that the student could interact with most engagingly. And it allowed for changing
things a little bit easier. Some of the other materials. Sample problems. These came from the, the sample problem came from
the OpenStax Statistics book. I also found some sample problems on other open educational resources that are available
throughout the internet. I also found a number of
different YouTube videos. Statistics tutorials. Really some good materials out there. One of the advantages of so many people struggling
with statistics is that there are so many different tutorials people have made about it. So this was an advantage for this. I have also Braille noted there. One of the big challenges with this was, okay, we can convert open
educational resources to Braille. There’s no problem doing that because we have the licensing that
allows us to change formats to revise these materials. But the problem is it can take a while to get things converted into Braille. Also, not all students who are blind actually can read Braille. There’s actually a very
significant portion of students who are blind
who don’t read Braille. And even if they do read Braille, they don’t all read the
same form of Braille. Before I’d started on this process, I didn’t necessarily realize exactly how many different
types of Braille there are, or the challenges with the
different languages and how you actually convert
mathematical concepts into Braille. That was a bit challenging. We did make some materials
that were in Braille, but they ended up not being very useful because it took so long and it was, it wasn’t easy to modify on the fly. I also made some other tactile materials. For a tactile material, I would take a basic OER that I found, so some materials that were either from the OpenStax book, other open educational
materials that were out there, examples and samples
that people had provided of statistical concepts, and then I would convert
them into some sort of three-dimensional representation. The example that I have on the screen is a sheet of cardboard with puff paint. If you are familiar with
the old ’80s puff paint, it was used on tee-shirts and sweatshirts to make all sorts of different designs. Some of it was glitter
glue and different things, but it provides a raised surface so that you can easily distinguish
the three-dimensional object. I used that in combination
with pretty much everything that I could possibly
find at a craft store. I could actually start
with any sort of OER and I could convert it into
something three-dimensional very quickly. The puff paint, unfortunately, it takes a little while to dry, so that required a little
bit more preparation than some of the other materials. Some of the other things
that I used were sticky foam. There’s foam that has a sticky backing. I used sequins. I used pipe cleaners. I used glue. I used all sorts of different
things to try and test it out. And that’s actually kind
of an interesting way of taking OER and actually putting
it into the physical realm ’cause we always think about
OER as being just digital. A lotta students do need that physical even if it’s just a
printout or other things. Also having students
create these materials. I did have the student actually
create some materials that, I can’t share those ones with you, but the student was able to
actually create some of these three-dimensional materials
and then check the work. Some of these, it’s a very
good approach, I think, also for students in general is, how do you actually
physicalize these concepts? Throughout, including
relevant real-world examples. This is something that we
hear throughout the literature and throughout pedagogical approaches, is how do we make this
something that is targeted toward the student? Choosing real-world examples that are actually
relevant to the students. That’s where open educational resources really, really shine. You can pull in all sorts
of different examples from the research from, in this case, an area that the student
was interested in. You can pull in either
real data or hypotheticals. The framework for this case study on guide dogs is based off of
the actual time it takes to train a guide dog and then how long they actually
have for working life. This was a scenario that
was suggested by the student and then I was able to expand
on and find some of the data that actually went behind it and create some data,
some hypothetical data, of what the study might
actually look like. These types of things, it took a very short period
of time for me to make them because the data’s out there. And it made it so much more
engaging for the student. Made it a lot more interesting than just having the same statistics
examples over and over, which is something that is a challenge within the statistics field is, once you get, particularly
into educational statistics, we do lots and lots and lots
of examples of exam scores. And that gets old. So just having a little bit of a variety. Although things ended up
being very successful overall, at the start it was not fully, technically “fully” accessible. Some of the formatting that
I had initially done on my materials just, it was
technically accessible, it passed all the accessibility
checks and things, but when it came to what the
student could actually use, it wasn’t, there were some issues there. They were easy to fix, but, because I was working with
open educational resources, I was actually able to fix them as opposed to having
to figure out some way to get the student to work around it. One of challenges I had was, there was just too many choices, because I had created so many
different formats of things in preparation. Having that testing at the beginning to kinda work the student
through the different choices and engage with the different materials, helped to select what types
of things were most beneficial and then able to pare those down for the future weeks in the course. Also I didn’t have enough real data when I first started the course. In some ways that was beneficial in that it allowed me to bring in more of the real data that
was relevant for the student. But it’s something that
I’d wanna make sure and have it to start in the future. Some changes I’d make. I made the materials actually accessible. Streamlining, including lots
of relevant open datasets. That’s something that we all, when we think about open
educational resources, we’re often thinking
about just the textbook. It was really important to also have open data for this course. It’s this educational statistics course. It’s a high-level course. We wanna actually use real datasets that are actually out there in the world that have the real issues that you encounter with those datasets. Some of the lessons learned. Essentially, I was transitioning from going from universal designs, so having lots and lots
of different options and directions that a
student could go and select to more of a human-centered design, so making it a little bit more manageable for a student to actually navigate that universal-design content. Making sure the materials
were flexible and adaptable, and also making sure that I
was flexible and adaptable. I had to change how I
was approaching things. I had to change which
technologies I was using, how I was using them, but, it was something that was very, very helpful to be able
to change across the time. Also to be able to accept that sometimes, when you try
out these new materials, they’re not going to work. There were certain of the
materials that I tried out that absolutely did not work. There were certain of the
OER that I converted over that just were more
confusing than helpful. Learning from that, embracing it, and being willing to change it, makes it so that you can
really get the most out of implementing OER. Also, it just was very,
very easy to include the student research interests and just interests in general. And, including that student content and that student-generated
ideas in the generation of OER. We’ll be looking a little bit more at questions near the end, but I put my contact information up here on the PowerPoint, [email protected] With that I’ll turn
things over to Suzanne. – [Suzanne] All right. Thanks, Tara. Let me just share my screen. Okay. All right, so this piece ties in with what Tara was just talking about in that, a course that begins
with universal design, gives some options for how
to adapt pretty easily. What I’m gonna look at is, how you can use open
content and open pedagogy, as a way to build courses that are focused on universal design. A bit of a background on what the concept of universal
design for learning is. It consists of three basic ideas. One is giving students choices in how they learn the information. So multiple means of representation. Giving students multiple means
of expression and action is giving them options in how they
demonstrate their knowledge. Multiple means of engagement
is giving students options in how they interact with the information. The reason that this is
really useful is that, there is no such thing as an
average or typical student. The idea here is giving
students the options to learn in whatever way works best for them. When I say this, it often feels like this is just gonna be mass chaos ’cause there’s so many options and so many different things going on. So I wanna start with
just a kind of outline of what does not change, so
where there are no options. What there’s not options about is what the students are learning. The learning objectives for the course, those don’t change. And we don’t change the
rigor of the course. This is not about making
the course easier. The idea being that the students are going to get to the
same place in the end, it’s just how they get there. That’s the options that they have. Let’s start with multiple
means of representation. This is something that I
came to a few years ago when I was trying to decide which textbook to use in my course. I asked students to review
a bunch of different books, and, after all of that input, I found that there was
not a single textbook that was kind of the winner of the lot. Different students liked different books for different reasons. They really liked the examples or other students really
hated the examples of the same book. It started helping me realize that there was no best
book for all of this. Oftentimes the book
that I thought was best, the one that I was really invested in, came out somewhere near the middle. So I realized, okay, maybe
I’m not the ultimate arbiter of what is going to work best
for each individual student. And also, I was, at that
point, participating in the writing of one of
the early OERs for biology through Carnegie Mellon’s
Open Learning Institute, and we did a test in one of my classes, where we gave students
options of different books, of their book versus the traditional book, and looked at which ones students liked, and how they did in the course. What we found is, again, students varied in what they
liked and why they liked it. What was really interesting to me is students, over the years, I’ve kind of continued that survey, have been very intentional in the book they choose
and why they choose it. It’s actually kind of surprising
how well thought-through students are when they choose
what resources they use. This is a slide showing a couple of the different examples
that I use in my course to help explain the process
of protein synthesis. It’s one of the topics we cover. You can see in the upper left is a paragraph from one
of the open textbooks. Down below that is an interactive piece from a different open resource. There’s images that I found, and, again, these are all open images
that I bring into the course. There’s videos. These are mostly on YouTube, but some of them are also actually open. And all sorts of other ways that students can learn the information. What I do is, I create a
list of all of the resources. Everything from the textbook to kind of interactive and written links. You can see here Khan Academy is a big favorite for students. And YouTube videos. So they get this long list of all the different options they have, and the question I always
get at this point is, is that confusing to students? Because it’s this long
list and they have to pick. And the reason it’s not
confusing is because I also give them, along with that, on the right side of the screen, a very clear list of
what they have to learn. It’s got all the terminology. It’s got everything they need, and I tell them, “That’s
what you’re focusing on. “The resources are just “how you’re gonna find the
answers to those things.” One of the reasons that I find
this has been really helpful apart from just giving
students the options of how they wanna learn, is that it really starts teaching them a little bit about information literacy. What I wanna train
students in is not so much learn everything in Chapter Three, it’s, here’s a scientific
question that you have. Where can you go to find good answers? Because my goal for this course, and this is a general education course, my goal is to help students
know that, in the future, if they have something
that they’re talking about with their doctor, if there’s
something they’re voting on, that they know where they can
go to get good information. So I’m really focused
on information literacy. As far as, if this is
confusing to students, I ask them, I survey my students
all the time, every week, ’cause this is generally
in an online class is what I teach, and, for the most part,
out of a hundred students, I only get one or two students that are confused by this sort of setup. For those students, I tell them that the very first link in the
list, that is the textbook. That’s the one I would have picked if I was to pick just one textbook. And at that point, they get it. So they, I said, “Ignore
all the other links,” and they’re good with that But for the other students, when I ask them what they’ve chosen, they’re, again, focusing on, they like videos because of whatever, they like interactives. And so they really appreciate the option to find things that work well for them. So that’s multiple
means of representation. The next is multiple means
of action and expression. This is all about giving students options in how they demonstrate what they know. In the box, just to kind of for, well, let me back up. One of the concepts that
we cover in our course is chemistry. So, all the different chemicals of life and, generally, the
structure of this lecture is, there’s four broad groups of
chemicals, examples of each, and we talk about how the
examples fit into the broad group. The terms that I would use in the lecture are all on the left side there. On the right in the box is kind of how I used to test this. This was one of my favorite test questions because it really does require some application and analysis. It’s asking students to
compare two different chemicals and look at the comparison
between these four groupings and identify which grouping is different. So it’s a brilliant question
if I do say so myself. And it gave me lots of great data because the A students would get it right, the students that were struggling
would not get it right, and so I thought, all is well. The problem, and this came
up a few years in, is, I was explaining the
answer to the student, and the student said, “Well, what, “but what does that dash mean? “Like, what does that
little sloped line mean? “Are you dividing the chemicals?” And I realized that what
this was really testing is, their understanding of
that framework of question. Those of us that have taken a
lot of SAT tests are kind of familiar with what that
design of question means, but the student, it just didn’t register as anything that made any sense at all. So I thought, all right, well, what I really wanna know is, do they know how these things are grouped and do they know what
each of these things is? Why not just put that back on them and say, all right, you
show me that you know how these things are
grouped and what they are. And that’s kind of the
extent of my instructions. I’m tell them, “That’s what I wanna know. “How you show me is up to you.” And the students have come up with all sorts of really great examples of how they can demonstrate that knowledge. Sorry, I’m looking at the Chat. The answer is C, because
it’s a example of, not a smaller and larger. All right, so. (laughs) The different ways that
students have come up with to demonstrate this knowledge. You can see here up in the
right hand is a mind map. Here’s the large group. Here’s a smaller grouping. Here are all the groups
within that smaller group. And this is just a corner of it. You can see that they’ve
also defined the terms to show me what each of these terms means. Up in the upper left is
more of an outline form. But again, it shows that
these are the smaller groups within the larger group of carbohydrate. They’ve defined everything. Flash cards are something
that students really like and so, a lot of times, I’ll
get pictures of flash cards, or they might show a table. The bottom right corner is an online flashcard-building system. One of the things that I
encourage students to do is use online tools to help
them learn this content. The hope is that, at
the end of this course, they’ve not only learned biology, but they’ve also learned study tools that they can carry on with them. And I get that comment a lot that giving them the option
of these online tools has been really helpful. The course, this question in the Chat is what is the level of this course? It’s a GE intro biology course for people that are not biologists and
have never had a biology class. That’s kind of the level that this is for. One of the really nice
things about open resources, but also the internet in general and all the free resources
available, is that there’s a lot of really
wonderful tools that you can use for a variety of different
levels of assessment. The downside is there’s a ton of tools. And so I was getting really
stuck in figuring out what is the best mind-mapping tool, what is the best
flashcard-building tool and so on. So I built a website. You can see the link
up in the upper right, where I’m, just for my own purposes, putting in all the links to the different types
of tools that I like, and I’m hoping that, so on this website also I have
included some rating tools. I’m hoping that, as we
all kind of look at these, if folks like some of them, they can rate them so I know and that way we can start
sorting educational tools that we, as educators,
like better or lesser. In response to the
Bloom’s Taxonomy Pyramid, I didn’t create that. It’s down at the bottom,
the citation here. It is really pretty. No. I wish I had. It’s really nicely done. That is multiple means
of action and expression. Make sure I haven’t missed anything. Hold on. Nope, that’s it. Multiple means of engagement. This is all about giving
students different ways to interact with the material, kind of with the framework
of interest level. So, finding different
ways to motivate students because not all students
are motivated by grades or by other things, so,
giving them those options. There’s a couple of
different ways to do this. This part really leans
more on open pedagogy rather than just open resources. The past two pieces, the
reason all of that is possible is because there’s all
these open resources and free resources online,
and that’s really helpful. One of the best ways to engage students is to bring in the
concepts of open pedagogy where they can start
creating learning tools. So, not just absorbing knowledge, but actually creating resources, which is a really empowering
things for students. One of the simple ways to do that is, just with a review of resources. So, in my course, I have that long list of learning resources that
I showed you earlier, and one of the things I would like to do, I haven’t quite gotten here yet because I haven’t found the
right tool for that job, is to have students evaluate
those different resources. Right now I’m having them do that in a discussion in Canvas in the learning-management system, but I’d like to build that out. But the idea is they’re actually invested in the list of resources because they can talk about which resource they like
better, what it’s missing, where they found that
missing piece of information. Right now we’re doing that in the discussion format
and it’s working quite well. On the screen what I have
here is some other formats that I’ve been playing with. One is the Google has the +1 where you can start increasing, showing which ones the
students like better, or there’s the various online tools for rating and ranking systems. The next approach to getting students excited about materials is what I call community service. This came about because
a lot of my students were looking up answers on
things like Yahoo Answers and some of the other sites. And they were coming back
with uniquely bizarre answers. It’s really the best I can describe it. Because these sites, anyone can answer, and there’s all sorts
of, it’s all over the map as far as if they’re gonna come back with any reasonable sort of answer. So I thought, well, why not have students add to these sites? So that’s one of the assignments is, go onto one of these sites,
find a question and answer it. What’s really nice about this, again, it’s all about empowering students to be kind of the masters of their own learning. They’re not just
passively learning things. They’re actually adding to
the external knowledge base. Doesn’t have to be just
answering questions. A lot of my assignments have
students creating things. Creating images, creating tutorials, creating whatever it might be. And I encourage them to
share that out on sites like Wikimedia Commons or some others. For this piece, I don’t require it because I don’t think
it’s fair, necessarily, to require students to share
out things that they’ve made if they don’t want to. But I do encourage it
and, for the most part, students really do wanna
share what they’ve created. They feel more invested
in what they’ve created and they feel proud,
especially when I call them out individually to say, “You’ve created this
really beautiful thing. “Would you consider
sharing it with the world “so that other people can also benefit?” I explain to them a little
bit about licensing and that their name will always be
associated with this resource. That gives them a chance
to learn a little bit more about open as a concept. Even though it’s not biology,
I do think it’s important. So that is a really brief foray
into all the different ways that we can give students
options in their learning. The basic kinda take-home
message with this is, it’s really all about thinking about how different students are and how varied in approach and interests, and creating a course that allows them to find their
way into the content. That’s kind of the main message there. I think we have time for Q&A. Preston? – [Preston] Yes, if you wouldn’t mind allowing me to share
my screen for a moment, we will have plenty of time for some Q&A. Sorry. So, thank you very much Tara and Suzanne. I really appreciate that. Before we do have questions, I just want to briefly mention that the Open Education Conference,
the global conference, is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to seeing
some of you there, hopefully. The OpenEd ’18 conference is
going to be held in October this year and it is
going to be in New York overlooking the beautiful Niagara Falls, and hopefully some folks will be able to attend
that conference as well. There’s a lot more information
on the CCCOER website under “Get-Involved,” where you
can find some of these other informations to these conferences and events that are happening. And please do continue to stay in touch through the email service that is offered. And the URL for that
is listed on this page, and lots more information is available at the website. Our next webinar is on May 9th and that webinar will
discuss the importance of student collaboration in OER projects. Brian Weston from College of the Canyons will be presenting and, hopefully, you all will be able to register and attend the upcoming session. And now, without further ado, I would love to open this up and get some questions from the audience. If anyone would like to present
any questions in the Chat, please feel free to do so, and we would love to get to some of these. – [Suzanne] Actually, and
I, maybe I’ll just jump in ’cause I see some of the
questions in the Chat. As far as adding the learning aids website to your library guide,
that would be awesome. I would really appreciate kind
of getting this out there, so that folks can start
helping me build it to be as useful as possible. And, there was a great
question about assessment. The question is, “Do [we] use rubrics,” and Tara, you can answer as well, “Do [we] use rubrics to assess learning? “It seems like individualized learning “would make it difficult and “how do [we] manage
consistency in assessment?” So, yeah, the assessment is an entirely different approach when you’re using this kind
of demonstration of knowledge. One of the, how shall I say it? In some ways it’s a lot easier and what’s easier about it is, I can get a holistic sense
of what students know. On a multiple choice
test, you grade them on, well I guess that’s the easiest, but I never really quite felt
like I got a full handle on what students actually knew. With these types of assignments, I have a better grasp of
what they can show me, and what’s been really interesting, as far as for me as an instructor is, I’m also learning a lot
about what they don’t know, which has been super eye-opening. I’m seeing some
misconceptions and confusions that I’d never seen before because the traditional type of testing doesn’t allow enough entry into kind of the realm of where
students may be a bit gray. It’s been really helpful as far as building in
those teachable moments. But as far as the assessment, it’s also, I do use a rubric
and it’s pretty linear. It asks, did they define
everything correctly and did they group everything correctly? So, it’s not that hard to grade. – [Tara] Because I actually, I used the same rubrics as had been used in the course previously. That actually helped to
ensure that the content and materials was still
getting to that same, meeting the objectives in the same way. The rubrics and the
guides that we were using did not actually specify what the format of that
product needed to be in, what it needed to look like and be like. It needed to at a professional quality and use the appropriate wording and things that they would expect
in a statistics course but nothing in it actually specified that it had to be something
that was in writing versus oral or had to be
done in one particular way or had to be applied
to one particular type of statistical data, so that’s, it’s kinda liberating that
I was able to actually use the same rubrics in
the same way and be able to show that the student
was meeting the same goals, just doing it through
different modes of delivery and using different data. (keys clicking) – [Preston] Okay, great. Okay, Tara, there is
a question in the Chat that is directed specifically to you about how you provide accessibility
for math components, such as Greek letters and lookup tables. Do you have insights into that? – [Tara] That was the
hugest challenge (laughing) of this entire thing. Converting all of the
text and explanations, definitions, the content, that was very easy compared
to converting the math, making it into something
that was accessible. There’s actually a fair amount of interesting research out there on, There’s a really excellent
article I read on teaching students who
are blind in statistics. This is a skill, the big challenge. Some of the things that I did was, I included the graphics just as you would encounter it
in the literature, along with a full-explanation of what
that Greek letter meant. For example, including the actual x-bar and then including an explanation that actually
had x-bar written out and then, in words, fully written out and an explanation of
what it would look like and be like for somebody who was sighted so that the student could connect once, when they’re reading the literature, what they hear in the screen reader to what it actually means
and be able to use it. It was hard to find something
that was going to work best. Most of the Greek letters and different, and equations, lookup tables and things, I actually converted
into that physical format because it was just, it’s
very hard to navigate those types of things
with a screen reader. Some of the lookup tables, it was trying to determine whether, what was the essential lookup tables, so what things the student actually really needed to be able to pull from and what things somebody in
statistics would use a search, so limiting it down to what
is actually, truly essential. Also providing excerpts from
those tables where possible. It was a lot of trial and error on that That was probably the … That was a lot of time involved, yeah. – [Preston] This is Preston
and I have a question for both of you, actually. It’s really just about,
both of you have undertaken some very interesting work. I wonder if you are
seeing any sort of uptake in what you have done from
others at your institution. Focusing on what you’ve done, Tara, with accessibility, particularly
for a visually-impaired student and how you’ve involved
other students, and with Suzanne, and the
instructional design process that you have in place, is that something that
others are following at your institutions? – [Suzanne] I can start. We’re just starting to
have those discussions here at Butte. It’s a different way to approach classes and, so, I’ve done presentations and a lot of folks have come to those and they seem interested. As far as redesigning the courses, that’s gonna take some time. But what I have seen increases of is instructors that are altering assignments to give students more choices on how they complete those assignments. I think that’s a really
good entry into this because it’s the simplest process, right? So, you have your assignment
and you can kinda open it up and give students the options
on how they want to answer it. As far as the giving
students the options of different ways to learn knowledge, instructors are also
starting to get into that and I think a really great way to enter into that piece of it is, we all have, I think, a list
of resources that we use to help students learn the information. So kind of these ancillary
videos and extra things. It becomes, really, just a
matter of, thinking about making those extra things
a part of the course and maybe a focus of the course, rather than the textbook and
then there’s ancillaries. It’s a slow shift. I’ve seen that happening
with a number of instructors. – [Tara] Yeah, we’ve had
a lot of different changes regarding both open educational resources and accessibility and the
combination of the two. We’re gonna be entering our
second year of a OER project here at University of the Pacific. We had a quarter of the faculty who converted all of the courses to open educational resources
and then we’ll be doing that again for the next school year. Part of that has been
inclusion of accessibility from day one within that context. I work in our Center for
Teaching and Learning here at University of the Pacific and we provide workshops on making
materials more accessible. We made sure that our
learning management system includes some accessibility-checker tools. Just providing a lot
of things to make it so that it’s a lot easier for faculty to make things accessible and also so that they can see how the OER
might help to implement that and to also give them
options for universal design. We’ve used a little bit of OER sometimes in courses as a supplement. Not just as a replacement
for the textbook, but as an alternative to the textbook so if students are not quite getting it with the textbook that’s provided, they can go back and look at the OER. Also for looking at the
more simplified topics. So if they’re in an
advanced engineering course and they need to look back at their, certain other math courses or something, then we have to make sure
and include those OER. The faculty are really
interested in that aspect of OER. – [Preston] That’s great. I know that accessibility, sometimes, strikes fear in folks
just because they know there’s legal background that has set up a lot of these things, but the reality is, it should
be treated as an equity issue, as with any other student and getting past that initial fear, I think there’s some really
creative and important things that can be done and
I think you demonstrated that with your work in your
class and I appreciate that. And, I think, in terms of the instructional design
process that Suzanne showcased, I think that that is
very useful for anyone. I know that that’s,
being that I have touched on both of those areas myself, I’m very happy to see these
types of things being presented. I would certainly like to open up and invite any other questions from folks that you may have for Tara
or Suzanne at this time. – [Tara] I’d just also
like to note that the Barbara gave a link for the
statistics and math symbols and that’s actually where I started with the explanations
for converting the text, the English phrases into mathematics and mathematics back to English. So that’s a really good source
that she linked in the Chat. – [Preston] Yes, thank you
for sharing that Barbara. So I think your presentations
were so thorough and insightful that there’s
not a lot of uncertainty among our audience with
additional questions, other than a lot of
accolades and thank yous for both of you doing
such a tremendous job. – [Tara] I think one thing
is that these types of things tend to percolate for a while for people so, I know that our contact
information’s up on the screen, but, yes, I know that
I’d be very welcoming of any questions people may have. I know that once you actually
start getting into this, there’s always things that surprise you, about making the materials accessible and doing checks and things like that. So I welcome any questions people have. – [Suzanne] Yeah, I’ll second that. I am more than happy to talk about any of
these ideas with folks. – [Preston] Well, thank you both. And for those of you have joined us, there will be a recording
that will be posted within the next 48 hours of this session. So, I would encourage you to
share this with your colleagues and invite others to
visit the CCCOER website and check out a recording of the session if they were not able to attend. I look forward to seeing you
all at future CCCOER webinars. And, again, I would like
to thank both of you, Tara and Suzanne, for
your presentations today. They were very insightful
and appreciate it very much. – [Tara] Thank you.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Oren Garnes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *