The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
There is a legal requirement (Equality Act, 2010) to provide students who have declared disabilities with reasonable adjustments which address their learning needs. An Advance HE report on making reasonable adjustments in Higher Education (Falsinger& Bryford, 2010) includes ‘resources available’ as a reasonable adjustment that needs to addressed. One way that OU does this is through producing print packs of materials for students who can’t access on-screen resources as a result of their disability.
The use, utility and efficacy of print packs as a way of providing reasonable adjustments to some of our disabled students on environment modules, and more broadly in STEM, has not been formally evaluated. Anecdotal evidence suggests utility and efficacy are variable, a problem which has been compounded by delays to print pack distribution for recent presentations.
This project aims to sample students (including SiSE) who use print packs on a range of Environmental Science modules in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences on Q52, BSc Environmental Science. The first phase will investigate how students use the resource, the problems and benefits associated with the print packs, and aim to identify ways to improve the utility and efficacy of print packs for students. Educational Advisors in the SST and tutors who work regularly with students using print packs will also be approached in the first phase.
Based on the results of the first phase, we aim to design an intervention for 22J, including training of AL champions, to improve the use of print packs and help students better engage with distance learning.
Following this intervention, we will review and evaluate its efficacy for comparison before and after its use.