Today we learned about video conferencing communication, accessibility, and modality.

We covered the communication (video conferencing) technology competency.

Video conferencing is a tool that increases accessibility and can be utilized for students who are unable to physically attend class for a variety of reasons, such as physical and/or mental health reasons, family and lifestyle considerations, physical location and transport, etc. We considered the following questions:

Why do we need to have a required face-to-face experience as a class?

Should an instructor’s preference override student accessibility? Or student preference of modality?

Does/should modality bias exist?

Should we allow flexibility in modality accessibility? What are the implications?

We learnt how the ways in which instruction is designed and allows for flexibility directly affects students’ levels of engagement. Modality and pedagogy are intertwined in this way, our past educational pedagogies that prioritize assessing students’ ability to memorize are outdated.

We learnt about multi-access instruction, which is a blend of face-to-face and online instruction. While this is an improvement, this blended pedagogy alone cannot meet all modality needs. Many believe that multimodality is important, but face-to-face instruction will always be superior. It is important to be aware of modality bias, which I will admit to having – as everyone carries all kinds of bias about every aspect of life! I am definitely biased towards believing that face-to-face instruction is superior, but I have come to realize how allowing for flexible modalities and different point of access directly impacts how your classrooms community views the inclusiveness and acceptance that you attempt to promote in your classroom.  As a teacher it is so important to be flexible towards your students needs, and promoting and adapting flexible intruction and multimodality is such an integral aspect of this.