Flexibility

Flexibility: Responding and adapting to students’ changing and diverse circumstances; engaging empathetically with student needs, both emerging and persistent; balancing intentional design and commitment to providing accommodations.

This list offers examples of concrete strategies aligned with this general inclusive teaching principle. If you would like to submit your own example for consideration, please click here.

Clearly articulate core course learning objectives so you can make deliberate decisions about what elements in the course can be revised, adapted, or made optional in response to individual and/or collective student needs.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Understand that some assignments and activities you have used during in-person courses (as well as the pace at which you cover content) will need to be adjusted for a remote context. Be willing to create new learning experiences for students that help them achieve your learning goals in the remote context.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Design course policies that provide clear pathways when students need to be absent, turn in work late, etc.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Build in opportunities for student choice: e.g., flexible or self-paced deadlines for assignments if possible; optional opportunities for instructor or peer feedback on drafts; multiple options for topics or modalities for assignments.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Solicit feedback from students about what technologies work for their learning and be willing to make changes to accommodate those preferences when you can.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
When content coverage is in tension with responding to student learning needs, prioritize student learning needs: e.g., be willing to adjust lecture pace, reduce information on slides, make lecture materials available to students for study and exam preparation, etc.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Before introducing a new technology in your course, learn about students’ prior skill and familiarity with it to gauge how demanding learning the technology is likely to be and make informed decisions about students’ capacity to add that learning to the core learning in your course.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Provide both synchronous and asynchronous options for class meetings and other regular course engagements. Recognize that ‘discussion’ does not have to be synchronous.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Consider that students may not have a private space nor sustained quiet time to participate in online learning. Create learning experiences that can be accessed in small intervals over longer periods of time (e.g. a short video lectures, brief readings, discussion threads that are open for a whole week).
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.
Recognize (especially in the time of the COVID disruption) the ways trauma or persistent high levels of stress can limit students’ ability to process information and track changes. Some ways to account for this include: removing grade penalties for spelling and punctuation, being willing to repeat instructions, consider adding extra time for everyone to complete assignments and tests.
  • Submit your own example of techniques you have seen or used in an engineering class here.