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Good Teaching Practices

Practicing some of the following principles of grading and instruction can help you adapt more easily to the needs of a student with a disability in your classroom.

Timed Exams

Ask yourself what the learning goals are in having a timed exam. It's obvious that we have practical reasons for setting time limits for exams. We don't want to be stuck sitting and waiting in a classroom for five hours while students finish their work! (Usually there is a point long before five hours has passed where the student can no longer make any improvements to their performance in any case.) On the other hand, by creating exams that are very long or difficult to finish within a certain time limit, instructors might begin testing a student's exam-taking ability rather than their mastery of the content. Taking time out of the equation in an exam situation can improve your exam's ability to test your student's mastery of content as well as make your exam more accessible to students with disabilities.

Using PowerPoint Slides or Overheads to Provide Lecture Notes

Simply using PowerPoint slides overhead transparencies and an overhead projector instead of the chalkboard for your lectures can make it much easier for you to keep notes of your lectures and make them available to students. The PowerPoint slides can be made available on Catalyst CommonView or some other online site. The content on your transparencies can be typed up and placed on reserve for students to copy. This service can be extremely beneficial for students with disabilities who cannot take effective or thorough notes on their own due to the effects of their disability.