Providing Academic Visual Supports
Some students learn best when given visual information. As you communicate course information in a variety of ways, make sure to provide the material visually for a student who needs academic visual supports. This document provides additional suggestions.
- All students must be held to the same academic standards.
- Do not provide any of the following supports if they compromise the essential requirements of your course.
- Whenever possible, supports should be offered to all students in the class.
- Make sure that all class information (tasks, instructions, projects, assignments, etc.) is clearly written and well organized.
- Use a comprehensive syllabus that includes a written schedule and specific written time lines for activities, assignments, etc.
- Use email to communicate information or to summarize information that was verbally discussed during an individual meeting with the student.
- Whenever possible, provide written feedback regarding progress/grades and if appropriate, statements of ways to bring the grade up to the desired level.
- Give students a visual indication of time allowed for in-class activities and tests (i.e. write remaining minutes on the board).
- Provide copies of instructor notes, overhead/board information, changes in test/assignment dates or requirements, etc.
- Whenever available, provide written list of key words, phrases, important ideas, etc.
- Include rules of classroom behavior on your syllabus i.e. what topics or comments are not appropriate in class. If off-topic comments are made, redirect student back to the topic under discussion by using a logical link up or try the following”Thank you, now can you tell me one thing about (topic under discussion)?” Use “tell me” approach during discussions instead of open-ended questions.
- Provide a detailed rubric for assignments, tasks and activities.
- Provide samples of previous tests, successful projects, etc. as appropriate.
- State in writing when, where and how to turn in assignments.
- Provide clear written directions for essay questions.
- For group projects, clarify in writing the student’s specific role in the group. Whenever possible, allow the student to prepare her/his academic contribution in advance of the group discussion.
- When extra credit opportunities are offered, provide a variety of choices that draw on the strengths of many students.
The information presented above was adapted from a variety of sources. Please contact us to obtain the source information.