Pause. Literally. Often while writing on the board or displaying projected slides, faculty members narrate at the same time. But when a new slide is displayed (or when you turn toward the board to write), you should stop narrating. Give students a chance to read the information first, and then speak.

This allows students to get access to the information on the board separately from your verbal commentary. It reduces the cognitive load of the task at hand; it is easier to process information separately. And it probably benefits most students when learning new material, as well as students with specific disabilities, those with specific learning needs (e.g., nonnative speakers of English).

Provide whiteboards. When assigning group activities in class, provide a whiteboard to each team and give them one rule: they must use the whiteboard during group work. That requires some changes to the physical infrastructure of the classroom. Typically, in class group work, students will sit around a table together, with a worksheet and/or laptop in front of them, and talk through solving the problems while writing at the same time.

Moving the process into a large, vertical and visual whiteboard space solves a number of those problems. It gives students in groups a level playing field for working through information visually. In addition, you can quickly glance around the room to check how far along people are in the problem-solving process.

Consider a poster session.The learning goals of such activities often include student synthesis of information, oral presentation and writing. But the experience of listening to student presentations can be frustrating and suboptimal for students in general as well as students who rely on language access services in particular. When nervous, many read aloud quickly (or quietly, or while mumbling), rather than pacing information well and narrating skillfully.

In contrast, the structure of poster presentations requires students to have short, clear summaries of their material ready to discuss with attendees.

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Nikita Chizhov