The Accessibility Guide for Instructors is intended for SIMnet Administrators and Instructors.
SIMnet has been carefully designed to support students with disabilities, including the physically impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, those with learning or cognitive disabilities, and the blind and visually impaired. With SIMnet, many types of disabilities don’t require any additional support or accommodations outside of a simple time extension. The following guide outlines best practices and accommodations for students with disabilities and especially for those who require the use of a screen reader.
The SIMnet Student Portal contains the ability to increase font size, line spacing, and color contrast. Within the Student Profile, the student can turn on High Contrast Mode to increase color contrast for low vision impairments. Students can also use the browser zoom function, however, simulated content including exam questions, Show Me, Guide Me, and Let Me Try exercises require the browser zoom to be disabled. Students who require this content must use operating system zoom features instead.
The ADA Multiplier has been designed to provide students automatic time extensions for timed assignments. The ADA Multiplier is set one time in the Student Profile and will automatically offer additional time on all assignments. For example, a multiplier of 1.5 will offer the student 90-minutes on a 60-minute exam or project.
- Course Manager (used by Administrators and Instructors)
- SIMbook and Lesson Show Me exercises.
- SIMbook and Lesson Exercises
- Let Me Try simulations for Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Windows, File Management, Browsers, and Outlook
- SIMnet Exam Questions
- Simulation based questions for Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Windows, File Management, Browsers, and Outlook
The goal with accessibility is to provide the same experience for all students, regardless of disability. However, some SIMnet assignment types don’t offer full accessibility support. In this case you will need to design a course that avoids inaccessible assignment types as outlined below:
- SIMbooks and Lessons: Require the Guide Me activity instead of the Show Me or Let Me Try.
- SIMpaths: Don’t incorporate this assignment type into your course as the Pre-Test and Post-Test contain inaccessible simulation questions.
- SIMnet Exams: Don’t incorporate simulation questions from Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Windows, File Management, Browsers, and Outlook. You may select test bank questions and simulated questions from other content areas.
- Test Bank Exams: Use test bank exams to replace assessment of outcomes otherwise covered in the inaccessible simulated questions.
- Graded Projects: Use chapter based projects for homework and capstone projects for the midterm or final exam.
Every school or accessibility office has different requirements and recommendations on handling accommodations. SIMnet offers a variety of administrative capabilities to implement accommodations at the course or individual student level. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding the best way to implement an accommodations plan, some of which are outlined below.
The goal with accessibility is to provide the same experience for all students, regardless of disability, however, some SIMnet assignment types don’t offer full accessibility support. In this case, you will need to design a course that avoids inaccessible assignment types as outlined in the accessible assignment types section.
To provide the same experience for all students we recommend assigning a SIMbook or Lesson with the Guide Me and/or Show Me required, Project, and Test Bank exam for each chapter of content. Capstone projects and multi-chapter Test Bank exams can be used for higher stakes assessments such as midterms or finals.
If your school allows student accomodations with alternate content then you will want to create a second accessible course based on your main course. The second course will be built from the accessible assignment types listed above and should contain the same learning outcomes as students who don’t require accommodations. Only students who require accommodations will be moved into the accessible course that contains alternate content. Having a second course setup and ready to go will make providing student accommodations simple.
If your course is already set up to use a mix of accessible assignment types and you only expect to have a handful of students that require accommodations each term then you should use the Personal Assignment feature to facilitate accommodations. Among other customizations the Personal Assignments can be configured to require the Show Me or Guide Me instead of the Let Me Try.