Equity and Accessibility Issues
Equity and Accessibility Issues avatar

I don’t currently teach online for Miracosta, so I will address the issues from the standpoint of what I currently do in my f2f ENG 100 course that I would try to implement online.

I find up-to-date articles and assign one or two every week which provide food for discussions and for short reflective personal essays. Some other of these weekly articles are used to exemplify rhetorical patterns such as argument and cause/effect and are used not only for their content but for analysis. To supplement the readings and spark discussion, I also include videos such as TED talks.

I have grouped examples below of some of the articles and how I use them.

Race Issues:

“Why are people still racist? What science says about America’s race problem” This article is used for background and a whole class discussion, and I could easily see this being used in an online discussion. It is also paired with the next article below which leads to the writing assignment.

“Unconscious Prejudice Worksheet” This is an anonymous online quiz that students need to complete before the writing assignment.  Many students have commented that they never realized their own prejudices before taking the quiz because the survey goes beyond race to looking at their feelings about many groups such as people with various abilities and body types.  This self-analysis writing assignment could easily be used online.

“Four Perspectives on Removing Confederate Monuments” This article is an example of an argument that is used in groups—each group has to take a perspective from the article and present an oral argument from that perspective to the rest of the class. This activity could be used the same way in an online group discussion.

Immigration Issues:

“Why Your Economic Argument against Immigration Is Probably Wrong” This article is  used in groups which need to provide an analysis of the argument using the model of analysis from our text, So What? The Writer’s Argument, and could be used the same way online. I have found it interesting to listen in on how the various groups see this particular argument.

“What happens during a deportation raid in the US? Activists and undocumented people describe the chaos and terror of predawn deportation raids taking place across the US” This article personalizes the topic and provides an example of pathos in a way that leads to much discussion and could also be used for an online discussion.

Beyond first day introductions and other cursory interactions, I now have one-on-one meetings with students that carry points for attendance. In this meeting I not only go over essays in a way not possible with mere written comments, but I also engage them in talking about their lives by noting issues they have raised in their writings. I know some students only do it for the points, but I feel it is important to engage them personally.

From a previous week in this course, I found Curry’s short film clip analyzing a student essay on video most helpful, and I would definitely use that approach for the longer essays in an online course.

I also found Dr. Wood’s address very valuable because it contained suggestions to implement in classes that benefit not only undeserved students but all students. His recommendation of virtual office hours seems to be a way to carry on my meetings with my f2f students into the online environment to provide the support he was advocating.

From the article “Examples of Effective Practices” the ideas of developing online courses with accessibility and inclusion in mind along with the suggestion to offer instructional materials in more than one medium seem important to plan for and  implement. Also I have found that considering that students may use mobile devices to access the course materials impacts both online and f2f class sites.