Principle #7: Respect Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

Principle #7: Respect Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

Principle #7: Respect Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning


There are many roads to learning. People bring different talents and styles of learning to college. Brilliant students in the seminar room may be all thumbs in the lab or art studio. Students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need the opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they can be pushed to learning in new ways that do not come so easily.  We have found that some students who are quiet during F2F sessions speak up during audio-only online sessions -- and, they continue to speak up during subsequent F2F sessions. Using Zoom, students can turn off their video camera to make it audio-only.


  Pedagogy Implementation
1 Allow forum posts in formats other than text, such as video and audio recordings.

Poodll allows video, audio, photograph, or drawings.

2 Provide course materials in different formats other than textbook, such as video or video quiz.

Published textbooks often come with videos, diagrams, timelines, etc., that cover the same material as in the text.  Consider curating videos from Library resources (talk with your Subject Specialist), or using Kahn Academy, TED talks, TeacherTube, or other reputable sources.  YouTube is also useful for interactive video quizzes, but requires more careful curating; in particular, the automatically generated captions used by many videos are often incorrect.

3 Make your course materials friendly to screen readers.

Work with Student Disabilities Services and EdTech to make your course materials friendly to screen readers

4 Consider the different learning modes, Visual, Aural, Read-write, and Kinesthetic.

Consider having students take the VARK questionnaire, and discuss their learning styles with them. 

5 Use colors that take color-blindness into account.

Leave the default Moodle colors. Here is the color blindness page at

6 Engage in multiple and varied opportunities to practice and demonstrate skills related to course outcomes,* and use a variety of evaluation methods throughout the course.*

In addition to the traditional essay, Moodle has many quiz question types for different types of learners.  There are the traditional multiple-choice, short answer, long answer, and matching question types, plus drag-and-drop and image question types, plus a Poodll question type that allows students to record video, audio, or draw (for example, on a blank map that you upload).

7 A variety of instructional materials is used in the course.*

In addition to the traditional static text & image pages, the H5P activity has many fun content types besides interactive video quizzes.

8 Resources are optimized for web delivery.*

Prefer Moodle pages and streaming videos, as opposed to videos uploaded to Moodle -- YouTube and Vimeo are optimized for video delivery, Moodle is optimized for page delivery.  The Book or Page resources, or the Lesson activity are good ways to provide web-optimized content.

9 Where possible, text is supported with audio files and/or meaningful images.

There are some Library databases that include Read Out Loud features.  Consider using links to these instead of PDF’s or Word docs. Consult your Subject Specialist for more information.

10 Note that many students use their smartphones for course materials and activities.   The Moodle Mobile app does not work with all activities.  We recommend using the Chrome browser on mobile devices, as it works with all activities and resources.
11 If students have accommodations through SDS, you can usually implement them in Moodle, to change the timing and/or due date. 

In Moodle, you can accommodate student needs by overriding due dates and time restrictions in Assignment, Lessons, and Quizzes.  Other activities can use the Restrict Access feature in the activity’s Edit settings page.

12 Use an online calendar to help ADHD and dyslexic students keep track of what’s due when.  Sometimes text dates are confusing to them, adding a visual calendar can help.

Moodle’s calendar feature shows due dates for Assignment activities.

13 SMC has resources to help you make your course more accessible.

Consider the Hoonuit learning pathways Accessible Online Course and Universal Design for Learning.

14 A picture is worth a thousand words, and tech makes pictures easier to create and/or modify. Use the Creative Commons Search Tool to find images you can annotate or highlight without copyright issues.