Consider the situations of individual students

  • Do a bit of technology needs assessment about technology for the class (Which device do they use for Internet access; do they have mobile data?) and then use the results to make adjustments accordingly. You may find that everyone in class has what it takes to access your content or participate in class activities. Then none of the below matter nearly as much.
  • Choose your tools wisely; some students may not have Wifi or reliable phone connection to participate in online conferences; video and other synchronous connections require a stronger Internet connection than asynchronous ones.  In addition, they may have family responsibilities or time zone challenges that make class attendance impossible.
  • Make videos downloadable to view later.
  • Provide alternative format of access if possible, such as slides and the transcript for your online conversation.
  • Use the common denominator. Avoid using file or media format that can only be opened on certain devices, especially high-end devices. For instance, students with only phones may not be able to display flash-based courseware.
  • Avoid the need for printing. If families cannot afford computers, chances are that they do not own printers either.
  • Teach students how to use their smartphone apps to complete activities such as using CamScanner to scan homework for submissions.
  • Try to make your content mobile friendly.


Berlin Fang, Walter H. Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, Abilene Christian University

Updated March 20