Stacey Mamer and myself have been building our grade two course together, with that we decided to review the feedback and make our plan moving forward together. Please read our blog post below!
The feedback that we received from our peers on our course was overall very positive. Our peers seemed to find our course easy to follow and well organized. This was helpful feedback because it assured us that our course was easy to follow for other people. Sometimes when we are creating lessons as teachers, it makes sense in our own heads and the way that we would do things in our own classrooms but it may not be as easy for others to follow. This feedback from our peers assured us that we were on the right track. Moving forward, we will continue to follow the same format as our previous modules to maintain consistency within our course. We will continue to provide both the step by step instructions and videos to ensure that our students have an overall understanding of the expectations for each lesson. One thing that could have been improved in our modules was accessibility to our peer reviewers. Our Google classroom code did not work for emails outside of our school division. We did provide a video walk through of our module and course, but moving forward, we will provide a more detailed one to help combat this issue.
Our class discussion about accessibility along with this week’s readings helped us to reflect on the accessibility of the course we are designing. Chapter 9.2 in the Bates text, tells us that there are many key components we must recognize when using different sources of technology in our teaching. It is important that we know the needs of our students so that we can make learning accessible to them. When we created our modules, we were imagining that it would be used with the current Grade 2’s at our school but we could incorporate different methods that would help make the course even more accessible to students. To be inclusive of learners with disabilities such as deafness, hard of hearing, and visual impairment, we will provide written instructions, video instructions with subtitles. If we had an EAL learner in our classroom, we could provide subtitles in their first language. When thinking about our activities that we have created, one of our reviewers mentioned how these two activities (the drag and drop activity and the 100s chart activity) would be used if a child had a visual impairment. This is something we both did not think about but something that needs to be addressed. To create a more accessible online learning environment we could provide different activities using tools such as speech to text. We are curious if any of you know of other online tools that could be utilized for students with visual impairments?
Toy’s article on technological equity and accessibility helped us think of ideas that would help support our course design. Our course as it is, would be tough to complete without internet access. Moving forward, we will try to incorporate ways that students can access learning without the internet if it is needed such as printable hard copies. Google classroom can be accessed on computers, chromebooks, and IOS and Android devices but the app is not available for Windows devices. It is important to know what devices our learners will be accessing the course on because if they only have access to a windows device, a different accommodation will have to be put in place for them. This article also gave us things to keep in mind as we build our course such as keeping due dates flexible, and being consistent with one method of communication.
As we continue to build our course, we will keep what we have learned about accessibility in mind. We will continue to provide instructions as we have in both written and video formats. One thing that we are going to do differently for the next modules is try to incorporate different ways that learning can be demonstrated. We will give students choices as to how they wish to show what they have learned such as making a video, or a recording instead of just one product based assignment. We really appreciate the feedback that we have received from our peers, thus far and welcome more in the future as we continue to build our course!
As with several of the reviews of peer feedback I have read, many are referring back to Ch. 9 of the Bates text in reflection of keeping track of the technology we use and the accessibility of this for our students. I did the same thing and you have as well. It rings true that when considering our choices there are not just one or two factors involved.
This is a great example of how research and feedback can inform course design and improve accessibility for learners. By considering the needs of different devices and internet access, the course creators are making sure that all learners have the opportunity to access the course materials. The incorporation of different modes of learning and assessment also demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and accommodating diverse learning styles. This is an excellent approach to course design, and it shows a willingness to adapt and improve based on feedback and research.