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Icon for: Logan Gin

LOGAN GIN

Arizona State University, ASU Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center

Are students with disabilities being accommodated in changing college STEM le...

NSF Awards: 1311230

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate

As college teaching environments transition away from exclusively traditional in-person lectures, the standard suite of accommodations for students with disabilities becomes insufficient. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed STEM education and created an array of novel challenges for all undergraduates, including students with disabilities. In this video, we will describe findings about the experiences of students with disabilities in active learning classrooms and online learning environments, focusing specifically on challenges that are specific to these learning contexts. We will posit that institutions may need to consider modifying student accommodations and the process for obtaining them in order to create inclusive learning spaces for students with disabilities.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (20 posts)
  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 10:22 a.m.

    Thanks, Logan and colleagues for shining a light on how the pandemic has adversely impacted students with disabilities. I have noticed these inequities manifested so strongly in my students with invisible disabilities. This is definitely something on which a more focused discussion is warrented!

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 12, 2021 | 07:40 p.m.

    Thanks for watching Michael! We appreciate your comments. 

  • Icon for: Toby Baker

    Toby Baker

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 02:45 p.m.

    Thank you Logan. As I did my dissertation research for my Ph.D. on this topic, Postsecondary students with disabilities and higher education faculty accommodations, I appreciate your video! As an adult graduate student with a learning disability, I can relate to the struggles of being taught concepts without the appropriate accommodations and aching to understand the material.  In my recent Qualitative study, there are more students with disabilities requesting services and the professors are not trained adequately to employ the strategies. This is even more difficult to provide equal access to higher education. Thank you for your research. 

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 12, 2021 | 07:48 p.m.

    Thank you Toby! It is neat to see others who are doing related work. I would love to connect with you further to learn from your findings particularly related to faculty accommodations and the strategies they are (or not) employing. 

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 03:42 p.m.

    Thank you for tackling this important topic! It is far too often the case that we overlook these learners, and it makes (sad) sense that the rapid transitions in Covid only made things worse. I'm curious if you also encountered any novel solutions that technologies like Zoom might have enabled. For instance, you note that it was harder to access note takers (I actually had a notetaker from my school's office of disability services in my Zoom classrooms for one learner). BUT... since Zoom can generate session recordings and transcripts, does that in any way replace or reduce the need for a note taker?

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 12, 2021 | 09:14 p.m.

    Thank you for your comments and insights, Barry! While it is not featured in this video, several students did allude to the fact that the transition to online resulted in unique solutions. As you mentioned, Zoom recorded lectures, real-time captioning, and transcriptions of the video session after class (posted for students to revisit) is one example of a solution to meet the needs of students. Additionally, in some instances, the asynchronous nature of instruction replaced the need for absences/attendance accommodations.

    Another example that we see is that individuals with disabilities, such as those with chronic health conditions, may have previously requested to work remotely, but it was perhaps against the policy of the institution to do so. However, in general, COVID-19 normalized “telework” or working from home. 

     
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    Barry Fishman
  • Icon for: Margie Vela

    Margie Vela

    Facilitator
    Senior Program Manager
    May 11, 2021 | 11:26 p.m.

    This is a great topic. Thank you for creating an awareness for equity in online learning environments. The pandemic sure made an impact on the way traditional teaching and learning is done, and it seems that some classes will remain to be taught in an online platform in the future. What do you think universities should be doing now to offer these courses in an equitable way?

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 12, 2021 | 09:27 p.m.

    Thank you Margie! As you mentioned, some of our courses will likely remain online in the future. Even prior to COVID-19, there have been general trends in higher education to adopt more online coursework. As online course offerings remain (and grow), we encourage more research to establish evidence-based accommodations for online courses to allow students the same access to accommodations as they would in-person courses. Students can often choose from a list of accommodations for their in-person courses, but in most instances, a similar system does not exist for online. We also recommend that departments educate instructors on how some of their instructional decisions may impact disproportionately negatively affect students with disabilities in online settings, such as the overwhelming detrimental effects of using test proctoring systems. Additionally, it is our hope that more and more instructors adopt a universal design for learning teaching philosophy as the continue to create new online courses and revise existing ones. 

     
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    Susan Foutz
    Margie Vela
  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Manager, DO-IT Center
    May 12, 2021 | 01:28 p.m.

    Thanks Logan for exploring this issue. I'd be curious to hear about what students said as far as their own strategies for success. As they faced these challenges, what actions or tips would they suggest to other students with disabilities. Our programs offer mentoring communities for STEM students with disabilities, and it would be fun to share this information broadly with students.

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 12, 2021 | 09:40 p.m.

    Thanks Scott! I appreciate you sharing this resource. It would be neat to share something like this with students at the beginning of the school year this upcoming fall. As you referenced, I certainly think there is value in students sharing successful strategies and tips with one another. From our interviews, we see that some students were able to assist each other with communication and advocacy with instructors. For example, some students may have asked an instructor about a particular policy/deadline/etc. which was then shared with peers. However, some of the peer support was difficult to emulate in an online setting with fewer interactions between students depending on how the course was delivered. 

     
    1
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    Scott Bellman
  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 12, 2021 | 05:09 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work! What suggestions do you have to help improve online STEM instruction in ways that are more inclusive?

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 12, 2021 | 09:28 p.m.

    Thanks Marley! As instructors are being provided with more notice that they will be teaching STEM courses online, they can use universal design for learning as they develop their courses. Universal design for learning is a framework focused on designing accessible learning environments in which the needs of all learners are considered without specialized adaptation or accommodation. An example of applying the universal design for learning framework in online instruction could be ensuring that synchronous class sessions are recorded, captioned, and posted for all students to access.

     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: Lisette Torres-Gerald

    Lisette Torres-Gerald

    Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 03:47 p.m.

    Great video, Logan!

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 13, 2021 | 05:21 p.m.

    Thank you!

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2021 | 02:21 p.m.

    I loved learning about your work! 

  • Icon for: Logan Gin

    Logan Gin

    Lead Presenter
    Arizona State University
    May 14, 2021 | 08:33 p.m.

    Thanks Lindsay!

  • Icon for: Brian Foley

    Brian Foley

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 15, 2021 | 03:39 p.m.

    These stories are really important and it is great that your work is able to highlight these issues. Do we know how widespread these problems are? For example, do you know if requests for accommodations or support higher or lower than pre-covid?

  • Icon for: Shellie Banfield

    Shellie Banfield

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 17, 2021 | 04:10 p.m.

    I learned through this video that ALL departments needed to reach out to students during the transition to online learning. Academic Affairs, Financial Aid, Testing Services, Student Activities, and most especially, Disabilities Resources. As colleges and universities navigated this rather large change to delivery of instruction all departments needed to find ways to assist students. Well done video.

  • Icon for: Sarup Mathur

    Sarup Mathur

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2021 | 10:40 a.m.

    Great topic and great video.  I agree that ALL departments needed to to reach out. How can the special education programs In IHEs  assist the Disability Resource Centers in ensuring that every student with disability has the needed accommodations? What are some suggestions you have for improving this situation? What were some of the challenges experienced by these centers of resources? Just curious to know more about these questions.

  • Icon for: Susan Foutz

    Susan Foutz

    Director of Research and Evaluation
    May 18, 2021 | 03:36 p.m.

    I was viewing this video thinking of all the undergraduate interns we now have who either completed entire internships virtually (Summer and Fall 2020) or have had hybrid internships (Spring and Summer 2021). I get the feeling from my 7+ years of mentoring interns, that interns aren't always good at advocating for themselves. They don't want to be the squeaky wheel. I'll share this video with my colleagues at the museum--we need to raise the awareness of the inherent pros and cons the virtual and open up a space to talk about what it means for all of us, but especially interns who may have a disability. 

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