Content Creation & Curation

Welcome to Week 3

Transcript of the video

Note: Where applicable in the transcript I linked to resources referred to and sources used in the video.

Framing: Content Creation and Curation

Why do we need to build and curate accessible online content?

Engaging online classes build interactions into all course components. These interactions are between the student and instructor, other students, and the content itself. Rather than ‘delivering’ content, an online course offers content to launch conversations and application of ideas. Students use content to build broader, nuanced understandings of concepts. Content is actively engaged with by students and the instructor.

While these kinds of interactions happen in physically face-to-face classes, they are different in online learning environments because students are required to display the following behaviors with a high degree of autonomy:

  • Move through material independently
  • Learn and apply learning strategies
  • Reflect upon their learning
  • Demonstrate a great deal of self-regulation by monitoring their cognition, motivation, and behavior (UDL on Campus, n.d.)

Planning, organization, goal setting, and strategy application are known as executive functioning (EF) skills. How we situate and design interactions with content can support and strengthen students’ EF skills or create barriers to learning in an online environment.

What barriers or challenges do we need to think about when building and curating online course content?

As you build and curate online course content, be aware of the following potential barriers:

Barriers related to perception Information must be accessible to all learners, either by offering content via multiple modalities (e.g. text-based documents that can be accessed with a screen reader or providing alt-text for images) or by providing content that can be individually adjusted (e.g. changing text size, pause and fast forward options for recordings).
Barriers related to language and symbols Information may be accessible—but that does not mean it is clear. Students face barriers from unfamiliar vocabulary, symbols, notation, and syntax structures. The ‘fragmented’ time of online courses makes it challenging for students to receive immediate responses to questions or students may not feel empowered to ask questions if they do not feel connected to you or other students.
Barriers related to comprehension Comprehension relies on several “active ‘information processing’ skills, like selective attending, integrating new information with prior knowledge, strategic categorization, and active memorization” (CAST, 2018). Students confronting new content benefit from strategies prompting connections to prior knowledge, prioritizing key concepts, and organizing ideas for recall and application. In online learning environments, it is important to provide opportunities for students to ask questions and test their understanding of ideas and information.

What can we do to build and curate accessible online course content?

  • Strategy #1: Build all content for accessibility, not just required resources

    Everything offered in a course must be accessible to each student in the class. If you are having difficulty securing an accessible resource, contact Simpson Library and the Office of Disability Resources to discuss available options. See ‘Take a Shot!’ below for resources to check and ensure the accessibility of a variety of course materials.

  • Strategy #2: Explore using OER for accessible content that can be adapted for your course.

    Content creation can be time-consuming, especially if you are teaching a course online for the first time. Explore what is available via OER:

    Verifying material accessibility is an important first step before assigning to a class. Locating Accessible Documents and Videos from ODR provides resources and strategies to proactively search and edit materials for accessibility.

  • When you assign OER and other materials that you do not create, share with your students why you are asking them to read, watch, or listen to the specific resource. Students might interpret relying on external resources as ‘not teaching’--be sure they understand the value of the resource to their learning.

  • Strategy #3: Use screencasts and recordings to support direct instruction

    Screencasts allow asynchronous access to core course instruction. Great ways to use screencasts include:

    • Direct content instruction
    • Class-wide overviews or feedback on an assignment or activity
    • Exam reviews—Give an overview of the exam format, provide some practice questions, and students bring responses to a synchronous review session
    While you do not need to produce a scripted screencast–perfection is not the goal–you do want to be prepared. This planning template designed by Katie Linder (via The Blended Course Design Workbook) helps outline your screencast and the supporting activities.

  • Strategy #4: Synchronous face-to-face sessions are not the same as synchronous online sessions—build comprehension strategies for the spaces your students are in.

    Using synchronous online tools for content presentation is not the same as lecturing in a classroom. While synchronous sessions can promote engagement and community-building, we communicate differently through screens and microphones then we do in person. If you use synchronous sessions, consider the following recommendations to support information processing:

    Chunk sessions into 10-15 minute segments or chapters Extended Zoom lectures or audio recordings overwhelm our cognitive functioning without pauses to check understanding—this is true in a face-to-face or online class. Use pauses in sessions for questions, discussion, or interactive exercises.
    Provide multiple content formats Offer slides or note outlines to accompany audio presentations. If you create a slide deck screencast and work with a script, provide the transcript with captioning as another means for students to access the information.
    Use a ‘backchannel’ during synchronous sessions for questions and comments Encourage students to use a class chat tool, such as Slack or chat features in Zoom, as a ‘backchannel’ for questions and comments. Pause periodically to check chat and address comments.
    Provide a timeline for synchronous session recordings Record synchronous sessions for review later. When you upload the session, provide a timeline noting where key concepts are first introduced. As students review class notes, they can refer to the timeline for easy reference to concepts.
  • Strategy #5: Support executive functioning with graphic organizers and note-taking support

    Don’t assume students know how to take notes, especially in your content area. Students new to your discipline may need to learn how to organize information based on purpose or the type of resource. Note-taking examples and graphic organizers can be shared as document uploads, screencasts, or shared collaborative spaces (e.g. Google Docs).

Faculty Models

Below are some examples faculty have shared with us to share with you:

Melissa Wells Course Model Zach Whalen Course Model Alex Dunn Course Model

Now that You are Focused...Take a Shot!

You've read some background and seen some models so here are a few activities that you can try for yourself.

  • Activity: Create accessible online course content
  • Activity: Create activities to support student processing and comprehension


June 29th, 2:00 - 3:30pm


Watch the introduction of the June 29th, Week 3 workshop

Note: The introduction goes until the 3:26 mark in the video

Breakout Sessions


Watch the wrap-up of the June 29th, Week 3 workshop

July 28th, 10:00 - 11:30am


Watch the introduction of the July 28th, Week 3 workshop

Note: The introduction goes until the 3:24 mark in the video

Breakout Sessions


Watch the wrap-up of the July 28th, Week 3 workshop