Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Adapting Your Course Materials for Online Instruction

When adapting your course materials from a face-to-face course to an online course:

1. Ensure that all course documents are in accessible formats. Adobe's PDF is universal, meaning students can download PDF files regardless of which software they have on their personal computer or what type of computer they are using.

2. Limit file formats which use color for contrast, such as maps. These types of files may not be readable for people with disabilities.

3. Use PowerPoint files sparingly. Usually these files are costly for students to print (many student like to print all course materials) and do not convey that much information in terms of course content. Consider using a program such as SlideRocket that allows the instructor to record audio for each slide. Believe it or not, students do enjoy hearing their instructor's voice and it enhances the value of the slide content. Click here for more information about SlideRocket.

4. Investigate the Web for course content that may already be available. Most likely there are materials already created about your topic in the form of e-books, Web pages, scholarly articles and resources, e-libraries, government sources, YouTube and Khan Academy videos, etc. Providing a link to these materials is a simple way to take advantage of the rich resources available on the Web to supplement your existing course content.

5. Work with the disability services department to ensure that the files and materials you are providing are accessible to people with disabilities.

Information adapted from: online learning insights: A Blog about Open and Online Education.

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