Providing an Inclusive Online Learning Environment

Providing an Inclusive Online Learning Environment
Three by Timothy Valentine (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

For our students to engage in the online elements of their course it’s important to get the basics right. Digital learning platforms can support a wide variety of creative approaches which need to be underpinned by strong foundations.

For 2021-22, we recommend prioritising three approaches to to provide our students with an inclusive online learning environment.

1. Provide clarity in Moodle

A clear organisational structure, that’s consistent and predictable is really important to orientate students. Moodle can be used to provide a clear ‘learning journey’ and connect the online and on-site learning activities.

Moodle might not be everyone’s favourite tool but it can really help with course organisation and communication. We recommend you follow our Moodle Top Ten to get the best out of it. If you want any help reviewing your site or following these recommendations please contact LCC Digital Learning for a chat.

2. Give space and time

Online asynchronous learning activities give students flexibility as they don’t restrict them to a location or specific time. They should be used to complement timetabled synchronous activities. Asynchronous activities still need a timeframe but it can be over a few days rather than 3-4 pm on Tuesday.

Asynchronous activities provide students with extra time to process, practice, reflect or respond.

Directed asynchronous activity which students are expected to engage with as part of the course counts towards scheduled learning and teaching hours. It is different to independent or self-directed learning.

Many of our digital learning platforms can be used for asynchronous activities. See asynchronous learning activities in Moodle for video examples or contact the LCC Digital Learning team to discuss.

3. Ensure access to everything

Digital accessibility is an essential component for an inclusive approach to teaching online.

All our learning material must be digitally accessible so that it can be used by everyone. It’s particularly important for disabled and neurodiverse students, approximately 25% of UAL students.

See Digital Accessibility in Moodle to find out how you can improve accessibility using the Ally tool in Moodle. Contact us if you need further advice or support.

Image credit: Three by Timothy Valentine (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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