Principle 3

Accommodate the reality that access to technology, including hardware and internet access, will vary across students in your courses.

Implications and Suggestions for Instructors

  • “Keep It Simple” – that is, keep your course design and delivery simple – whenever possible.
  • Minimize the number of different applications required by students, especially those that go beyond the Canvas environment. Each additional tool or platform beyond Canvas adds to the learning load for students (multiplied by how many courses they are taking), as well as potential additional privacy/FIPPA compliance concerns.
  • Check that all necessary applications are FIPPA-compliant, or you clearly communicate to students how to anonymize their identity for non-compliant applications that are deemed important for facilitating student learning.
  • Consider alternatives to a course design that requires uninterrupted high-quality internet.
  • In your syllabus, be explicit about the technological requirements of the course, including hardware, software, applications, and alternative/support Report any essential technological tools (e.g., specialized software) required by your students to succeed to your Unit/Program/Faculty well in advance of your course start; work with CTL to devise a plan for support options.
  • Check-in with your students regularly to ensure you understand if they are facing any challenges relating to bandwidth, and to help them mitigate problems (with support). Invite students to tell you if their technology/network connections are getting in the way of their ability to participate in the course so you can work with them on solutions.
  • Offer alternatives, such as recordings, for students whose technology fails. Likewise, consider preparing a plan for when your own technology fails.
  • If you, as the Instructor, do not have remote access to essential technology to teach your course, please reach out to your Department administration for support.