17.2 Alternative formats

Types and formats of resources, teaching materials and activities that are used in my context:

Class presentations are normally created using Powerpoint. Blind students may need an audio file describing the contents of the presentation or software such as a narrator. Probably creating an audio file for each presentation used in class is not feasible due to financial constraints and time it may take to develop. Moreover class presentations are updated from one year to another and at times even from one class to another.

Class notes are handed to students as print outs. Many students may benefit if a soft copy of the class notes are provided. Still a soft copy may be given in various digital versions of which pdf, doc or audio file. These may be emailed to students or uploaded on the class website. Such  versions may also allow the student (or support staff or peers) to modify the document for their own needs. Such alternative formats are useful for;

  • Students with a visual disability; need of large print or of screen readers/narrators.
  • Students with a mobility impairment
  • Dyslexic students may benefit from narration
  • Students with a learning disability

Exam papers are forwarded by the institute’s foreign partner as a soft copy, which in turn is printed and photocopied for each student. As for class notes, various digital versions of the papers may be better accessible by students with different disabilities. Still, such access needs to be done in a restricted physical location as exams are normally held.

Many times these resources are provided at the start of the lesson. Through a bit of planning ahead, such resources may be made available in appropriate formats and way before the actual lesson. Each teacher is responsible for the students learning. Therefore the teacher should be responsible in providing alternative formats for the learning content being provided. Still as this area in higher education institution is still in its infancy, such responsability and quality assurance are not a ‘priority’.

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