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​​​Updated: 2 September 2020



Expanded 12 Principles for Online Learning and Teaching: Principle 2 Digitally Inclusive


Principle 02 Digitally Inclusive

Access and skills. What are your students’ online access limitations, digital skills and general confidence about learning? Consider how to work inclusively to benefit all students.


Planning for inclusive teaching practices online can save time later. While planning to meet support needs identified in learning profiles, consider how you can use principles of universal design for learning to meet undisclosed support needs and benefit all students.


Start with:

  • The written word: If providing instructions or materials in text form, is the formatting accessible and helpfully structured, and is it written clearly and succinctly to avoid any ambiguity for students with visual impairments or dyslexia? These approaches also help students whose first language is not English.
  • Audio: How will a student engage with a video if they can’t hear it due to hearing loss, audio problems on a device, or a noisy environment? Have you engaged with the Disability Inclusion team and checked students' learning profiles to find out whether any of your students rely on lip reading or captions/transcripts?​
  • Video: Even if you are sharing slides or other content during a video call or recording, keeping your face visible has been found to help students stay connected and aid learning. It is also important for those who lip read and, similarly, for those whose first language is not English. 
  • Images: Add in alt text if you are using pictures to in slide and other materials.
  • File size: If a resource is large, for example, a PowerPoint file with images and narration, how can a student access it if they have capped internet data, limited device storage or unreliable connectivity?
  • Mobile: Test what it is like to interact with your Moodle module on a smart phone using the browser. Use the ‘Switch role’ function in Moodle to view your module as a student.
  • Plan ahead: Keep these inclusive practices in mind, even if you have no learning profiles in your current cohort; you may have students with undeclared disabilities and you may wish to reuse materials with future cohorts with, as yet, unknown needs.


Where an approach may disadvantage some students, provide alternative formats.


Learning online may exacerbate students’ lack of confidence in their ability to learn. Find opportunities throughout the module to remind a whole class where they should be focussing their efforts and reflect back with them on how far they have come (see Principle 6 Keep Moodle simple). Use your experience of teaching previous cohorts to identify key concepts which can be a struggle, and provide extra support and emphasis around them. Teaching online is an opportunity to make learning itself more visible by openly sharing with students why you have chosen particular approaches.​​​​


Developing your Teaching and Support for Learning Online Moodle Community

Self enrol on this community site for staff to discuss and share online teaching practices and tools. DLTE also share webinar recordings and links to useful resources.


Principle 3: Review Your Curriculum >>


[Download 12 Principles in PDF Format]​


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