Over the past months, thousands of language instructors across Canada have been unwittingly or intentionally taking on instructional developer responsibilities. They have been cobbling together, rearranging, and refining digital resources and activities from various sources to meet the needs of their students. Many instructors have been generating original learning resources to fill in gaps that appear while teaching online.
Usually, learning materials are prepared ‘on-the-fly’ to anticipate or adapt to challenges that arise from our classroom lessons. What happens to these documents? Often, they are forgotten on a computer drive and discovered on a slow day when you are considering which files to remove to free up hard drive space. These files are hastily named, filed, and saved, so they are lost. Sometimes, it is too much trouble to save and properly file a document that is created just before your online class is about to start. If you are currently teaching online, I am sure you will agree with this! Continue reading →
While working on ESP books for a technical program, I found that QR codes were a great solution to add quick links to additional resources. These resources included interactive activities, worksheets, images, videos, animations, graphs and further readings. I am not the first person to think of using QR codes for educational purposes. Links to fantastic resources providing a myriad of uses of QR codes for educators can be found in the additional resources section below. I am offering a few simple practices that you might consider to improve access to resources in your classroom, on your class website, or in your instructional documents.
Have you heard the phrase AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)? The accessibility movement is a global phenomenon that has implications for all stakeholders in education. In Ontario, colleges and boards expect (I hope this is not too much of a generalization) that materials produced for instructional purposes comply with accessibility standards based on the media being employed. Media includes printed documents, electronic documents, web based offerings, and interactive and passive multimedia presentations. The United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States have also passed accessibility legislation.
I have found that following good practices to create accessible digital documents results in an improved experience for all. Some general guidelines to improve document readability are
easier to understand tables ,and
colour contrast considerations.
Last year, I attended accessibility certification workshops. Four days of training involved document accessibility design, mobile App design, video captioning, and web accessibility design and Continue reading →