Every day provides new challenges during this pandemic, and with additional restrictions being introduced, it continues to be a difficult and troubling time for us all. We recognise that the University student experience is drastically different from in previous years, and we have listened and heard your concerns about teaching & learning, both face-to-face and online.
All students should be able to engage with quality teaching & learning in a way that allows them to learn effectively and feel safe doing so. We have been working with the University to represent you on this basis, and want to share with you some of the actions we have taken.
Face-to-face and online teaching & learning both pose significant, yet different, barriers to access for students with additional accessibility needs. We are working with the University to improve student consultation on accessibility, clearly identify student accessibility needs, and improve the accessibility of both face-to-face and online teaching & learning. This includes lobbying the University to extend/re-open the IT Support Fund, to retain the distributed funds as grants rather than loans, and to include international students within the eligibility criteria. We have also advocated for increased funding of disability support for online teaching & learning, such as palantypists and accessibility software.
Regardless of the mode of teaching, Warwick students should be able to access high quality teaching. We recognise the challenges of adapting teaching & learning for online delivery and have called on the University to recognise and fully resource the knock-on impact on staff’s workload, many of whom are our own postgraduate student members.
Students and staff should be able to access teaching & learning in a way that enables them to feel safe, and which takes into account their individual circumstances. No student or member of staff should be pressured to learn or teach in an environment which makes them feel unsafe, which may include face-to-face teaching & learning activities. We have advocated for the university to recognise students’ mitigating circumstances with respect to accessing teaching online, and raised the possibility of a simple opt-out for face-to-face teaching & learning activities, for any student or member of staff who wishes to.
We welcome your ongoing suggestions by email or via our online form.