COVID-19 has brought changes to almost every sector in the world. Virtually everything now is being conducted remotely. More companies require their employees to work remotely. Schools have also followed suit, and more institutions are now embracing online learning.
The problem, however, is that most institutions have had a limited time in preparing for the shift from physical class settings to remote learning. The biggest challenge so far is how to deal with learners who have physical challenges, especially the blind and those with hearing impairments.
In this post, find out how teachers can enhance the remote learning experience for scholars with hearing problems to ensure such students benefit from learning just like the rest of the class. Below are 5 ways to go about it.
Teachers can decide to get a sign language interpreter for learners with hearing impairment. The interpreter should be part of the class meeting and be positioned where the student will have good visual access. Students should be advised to pin the interpreter’s video to make it visible.
The best way for learners to easily follow up with the session is to ensure they can see the interpreter and teacher simultaneously. Both the teacher and interpreter must face the students at all times.
To avoid confusion, teachers should meet with interpreters before the class to agree on signs specific to the content. You should provide the materials to be used in class. This way, interpreters can increase accuracy in delivering the content.
Captioning is the method of changing audio content to text that is relayed on the screen. In addition to text, captions can include sound effects and music description. This method is easy to implement and affordable for learning remotely. The students only need to put the captions button on, and they are good to go.
While captioning is straightforward to implement, it can be unreliable. Sometimes the linguistics can be rough and the punctuation way off. This can make it hard for scholars with hearing loss to follow through. So before using captions, make sure the words are correct.
Several studies from the research paper service show that captions are beneficial to everyone. By using them, teachers help even the other learners who find it challenging to understand the teacher either due to their accent or speed of content delivery.
Filming for Visibility
For the most part, students with impaired hearing use their sight during remote learning. You must, therefore, film with visibility in mind for better videos. Video conferencing etiquette requires that you film with appropriate attire to avoid distractions.
The lighting should be enough to allow the students to easily read your lips. You should also make sure there are no shadows that may distract the students or block their view during lip reading.
Finally, the camera should be well-positioned. The angle should make a face visible for easy lip reading.
Set Classroom Protocols
Every remote class should have some ground rules. Before you begin any class, you must set and communicate these rules. The goal of the rules for learners with hearing problems is to avoid interruption. You can ask the scholars to utilize the ‘raise hand’ feature whenever they want to ask a question. Alternatively, you can set aside specific times for asking questions.
Students should also turn off their mic and video while the class is ongoing. Putting the mic off will cut off background noise while having a few participants on video will ensure a high-quality video, which helps students to read lips with ease.
When presenting, ensure you proceed slowly to allow all learners to follow well. Usually, it is easier to listen than to read the captions, so expect learners with hearing impairments to be slower compared to the other students.
Some scholars use assistive listening devices during online classes. Others use noise-reducing headphones to cut off any distractions. Slowing down will allow them time to connect these devices to their computers.
Also, some students experience internet connection issues. If you move fast, chances are they will be left behind. You need to proceed slowly to allow them to catch up in case of internet problems.
The online learning experience should be the same for all students, their challenges notwithstanding. There’s so much that tutors can do to improve the experience, especially for physically challenged students. The tips above should help teachers to provide a great remote learning experience for students with hearing impairment.