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Accommodating diverse student needs in the online and remote teaching environment

Thursday, October 15, 2020


The shift to Emergency Remote Teaching in the Spring pushed instructors and students to rapidly adapt to synchronous online language sessions. Under the circumstantial conditions, this adaptation entailed adjusting common processes and procedures with minimum considerations to the affordances of the online meeting environment, and with limited assessments of the benefits and constraints of such tools. However, the Fall semester has seen an increase in accommodation requests that specifically draw upon the affordances of online meeting tools, such as Zoom. Nonetheless, methodical, wholesome assessments of these affordances are pending. In the case of language learning, the modes of communication seem to conflict with some of the resources requested to tend to accommodations. In this session, the discussant will address questions pertaining to accommodation requests in synchronous language classes conducted in Zoom. The learning table will be guided by the following questions:

  • How can instructors, students, and administrators better interpret accommodation needs in light of the affordances of online meeting environments?
  • How can language instructors attempt to strike a balance between tool affordances, accommodations, and modes of communication practiced?
  • How can language instructors adapt their lessons to effectively implement teaching strategies that address accommodations?
  • What are some considerations for analyzing accommodation requests in online synchronous meetings?

About the Discussant:

Mandy Menke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics, Director of Language Programs, Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota