Prompts from the FLEX Forward Resource
- What are you most interested in learning as you review this resource?
- Reflecting on a lesson or course you’ve recently taught, or are preparing to teach, what are 3 barriers that learners may experience in your classroom or training environment?
- What teaching tensions related to disability/accessibility/equity would you like to explore and address over the next 4-6 months?
- Have you had a conversation with anyone about their preferences related to person-first, identity-first, medical, diagnostic, politicized, and/or reclaimed language? What did you learn from your discussion?
- Which types of disability language do you tend to use in conversation, lecture, or written course materials like your syllabus? Why is this? Who might feel included or excluded by your word choices?
- What sorts of disability advocacy have you seen in the news, in the community, on campus, in your department, or in class? In what ways have students and colleagues advocated for people with disabilities? How might you further notice, draw attention to, support, and/or participate in this ongoing organizing work?
De-Mystifying the University
- Which academic skills are essential to your learning outcomes or successful completion of your course? How will you explicitly identify these skills in your course outline and teach these skills to students?
- What significant skills, abilities, or knowledge do you hope/assume students have learned in other courses before arriving in your course? How might you check in with students to confirm whether this is the case and to provide additional instruction and resources for those new to these academic conventions?
Advancing Accessible Education
- How might you adapt and apply Flexibility, Alignment, Variety, and Explicitness to accessibility barriers in your classroom and your own identified teaching tensions?
- What actions do you already take to ensure your learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessments align well together?
- In what ways do you already offer flexibility to students?
- In which areas do you most succeed at offering students variety? Consider: course materials, teaching approaches and activities, assessments, ways of connecting with peers and with you as the instructor.
Choosing Accessible and Inclusive Course Material
- Are there ways you might add matters of equity and inclusion into your course description or class schedule as a relevant theme?
- Do your case studies inadvertently replicate common stereotypes about specific population groups?
- When teaching about a particular group of people, are there readings available to you written by authors who identify as members of this population?
- For instance, can you include writing by disabled/Mad people, service users, and patients/clients about their own experiences, rather than material exclusively written by academics or service providers?
- Are materials by Indigenous scholars available to you, or only works about Indigenous peoples, written by non-Indigenous anthropologists or historians?
- How might you enhance the visibility of scholars from traditionally excluded groups (e.g. LGBTQ+ people and people of colour, scholars writing from the Global South and from non-Western perspectives, women)?
- How might you enhance the diversity of images on PowerPoint slides and examples given in lecture?
- What barriers might students experience with the format or content of your course material?
- What is 1 new idea from this module that you can incorporate the next time you (re)design a course and/or select course material?
- In your experience, what barriers in the physical and/or social classroom environment most impact the students you work with?
- What are 2-3 things you already do to reduce these barriers and enhance accessibility?
- What’s 1 new thing you’d like to try implementing over the next 4-6 months?
- Is your assessment encouraging students to learn what you want them to?
- Are you evaluating what you want to evaluate? Are you unintentionally also evaluating unidentified skills or knowledge that are not part of your course’s essential requirements?
- Have you clearly communicated to students what your expectations are for the assessment you are asking them to complete?
- Have students been sufficiently exposed to varied teaching and learning activities that adequately prepare them to complete your assessment? Have you provided students with resources to help them be successful on your assessment?
- Which academic skills are essential to your learning outcomes or successful completion of your course? How might you break these skills down so that you can support students in learning them in progressively complex steps?
- Which types of assessments are most effective for determining student achievement of your learning outcomes? What are the component parts of these assessments? How might you stage or scaffold student learning of these components?
- How do you determine which forms of assessment to use? What constraints, practicalities, preferences, and pleasures inform your decisions?
- What barriers do you know or imagine students face in relation to the assessments in your course?
- Beyond formal assessments, which techniques do you use to gauge student learning in your course? What have you learned from them?
- What are 2-3 new ideas you’d like to experiment with over the next 4-6 months to enhance the accessibility of your assessments?
- Have any questions arisen for you during your review of this module? What is 1 idea you’d like to discuss further with colleagues?