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Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Advice & Guidance for Students

ASKDS Disability Service Supports on Blackboard Learn

ASKDS Inclusive Learning & Technology support service have a repository of useful guides in the Blackboard module ASKDS Disability Service Supports, which include tips and strategies for essay planning and essay structure. Specialist Academic Support can be provided to individual students and referral for this support is arranged via your Disability Officer. For more information and resources enrol in the ASKDS Blackboard module:

  1. Log on to your mymodule.tcd.ie.
  2. Click on ‘Module Search’.
  3. Type 'Disability Service Supports’ in the ‘Module Search’ box and click ‘Go’.
  4. If more than one module appears, click on the drop-down arrow beside ‘ASKDS’ under the ‘MODULE ID’ field.
  5. Click on 'Enrol'.
  6. Click on 'Submit'.

Student Learning Development run a series of Online Workshops (Webinars) for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students on a variety of topics, during term time. The webinars are interactive and allow students who are off campus or who prefer online methods of delivery, to attend workshops to develop their academic and learning skills. There is no charge to attend the workshops. Access via the SLD Blackboard module 'Academic Skills for Successful Learning', a self-enrol module with a range of learning resources in a variety of formats.

Advice and guidance for disabled students on remote teaching and learning

Blackboard logo

How will my classes be delivered in the academic year 2020-21?

Semester 1 will follow a hybrid model which combines online and face to face elements such as offering online lectures for larger class groupings and face-to-face seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes for smaller groups. As much face-to-face teaching and learning as possible will be provided under prevailing health and safety requirements. A decision on the second semester will be taken closer to the time. Some classes may be delivered via Blackboard Learn, Trinity’s Learning Management System (LMS). It is a virtual classroom where students and instructors can interact and share information. To access Blackboard Learn, visit www.tcd.blackboard.com. You will see a list of the modules you are registered for when you log in. Read guidance on Using Blackboard Learn or watch the introductory video below.

Start Learning to Learn Online

‘Learning to Learn Online In Trinity’ new Blackboard Module for TCD Students includes:

  • Getting Started for Learning Online
  • Working Together Online
  • Creating a Study Routine
  • Preparing for Assessments

Students can self-enrol for this module as follows: 

  1. Go to Blackboard Learn.
  2. Log in using your College network username and password.
  3. In the Module Search box enter 'Learning to Learn Online in Trinity' or 'VP10022'.
  4. Click on the module.
  5. Click on +Enrol at the bottom of the module menu on the left of the screen.
  6. Click OK. You may need to log out and back into Blackboard if you cannot see all the content in the module after self-enrolling.

Identifying and accommodation learning needs

For some or all of your classes you may find that some of your reasonable accommodations are no longer needed, some may need to change, and/or you may need additional or new accommodations. If you think the reasonable accommodations you currently have will not work with online learning, please visit the DS Staff webpage to contact your Disability Officer.

The video below also explains how to make an appointment with a member of the Disability Service team.

Communicating your learning needs to College staff

All students requiring support for learning register with the Trinity Disability Service have a Learning Educational Needs Summary (LENS). The information in the LENS report is made available to the relevant staff within the University (i.e. teaching staff, Disability Service personnel, your Tutor) to help them also provide assistance. More information about LENS reports is available on our Communicating with your School webpage.

Getting help with study skills

Student Learning Development (SLD) provide comprehensive support for academic and study skills in their Blackboard module. Click on the module title to enrol on this course.

Accessing books and journals from Trinity Library

Off-campus access to licensed electronic resources (books, databases and journals) will remain available to all registered staff and students during the closure period. The Library Catalogue, Stella Search, continues to be available. You can also contact the Subject Librarian for assistance with locating reading material relating to your modules.

Accessing Microsoft 365 in Trinity

Office 365 is free for all registered students in TCD, you can download it for free by going to http://office.tcd.ie. For further information on this service please review IT Services support pages

Convert documents to mp4, eBooks or Braille using Blackboard Ally

Transform your files to formats that work for you through Blackboard Ally.

Accessibility Features on computers/devices

Follow the My Computer My Way guide to ensure that you are getting the most out of your computer/device and improving access to your course materials.

Advice and guidance for disabled students on remote assessment

student help page

Types of assessment used in remote examinations

All in-person examinations have been changed to alternative modes of assessment that can be delivered online. These include a range of options that are explained at the link below.

Preparing for exams and assessments

Student Learning Development (SLD) provide comprehensive support for academic and study skills in their Blackboard module. Click on the module title to enroll on this course

Exam accommodations

Trinity is committed to ensuring that its examination system enables students with disabilities to compete equally with their non-disabled peers. To put exam accommodations in place students must first complete an Application for Reasonable Accommodations with the Disability Service. Exam accommodations are then agreed upon during the Needs Assessment process.

For detailed information on standard and non-standard exam accommodations read our Exam Accommodations webpage.

Exam Accommodations for Alternative Assessments

Exam Options What this is Disability reasonable accommodations and considerations
Continuous Assessment (CA) CA component and convert it into a grade for the module. CA can also be considered on a case by case basis for individual students as an alternative to an exam. This can be considered a Non Standard Reasonable Accommodation
Assignment Convert final examinations to written assignments. This is where the assignment is of a different type to the exam, such as a single essay – i.e., it is not just a take-home exam paper.

For Assignments the amount of time being given is designed to take account of all students’ personal circumstances, including those who would normally be offered extended time in exams. No additional time will therefore be offered to these assessments. The use of the disclosure of disability sticker in exams does not apply for assignments.

Take-Home Offline Exams Take-home exams are open-book exams that are given a longer deadline to submit the answers. These could have a deadline set in the same day or over a number of days. For Take-home Offline Exams please ensure to add extra time stated on the student LENS (Learning Educational Needs Summary). If a student has been granted extra time for exams on their LENS, their exam must be extended to allow for these exam accommodations. Additional time of 10 (15, 20 or 30) minutes per hour will apply to all timed exams and assessments of different durations. For example, for exams and assessments of different durations, 10 minutes per hour is applied as follows:
  • 48 hours + 8 hours
  • 24 hours + 4 hours
  • 3 hours + 30 mins
  • 2.5 hours + 25 mins
  • 2 hours + 20 mins
  • 1.5 hours  + 15 mins
Disclosure of disability in exams – see below*
Real-Time Online Exams Real-Time Online Exams refer to a timed exam offered remotely, where students interact continuously with the online platform. These are not invigilated and so are effectively open book.

This exam type will be open for several hours. The recommended duration is like that of the normal exam, with some additional buffer to allow for students to navigate the system.

For Real-Time Online Exams please ensure to add extra time stated on the student LENS (Learning Educational Needs Summary). If a student has been granted extra time for exams on their LENS, their exam must be extended to allow for these exam accommodations. Additional time of 10 (15, 20 or 30) minutes per hour will apply to all timed exams and assessments of different durations. For example, for exams and assessments of different durations, 10 minutes per hour is applied as follows:
  • 48 hours + 8 hours
  • 24 hours + 4 hours
  • 3 hours + 30 mins
  • 2.5 hours + 25 mins
  • 2 hours + 20 mins
  • 1.5 hours  + 15 mins

Guidance on adding extra-time is linked here.

Where students have use of additional supports such as technology, alternative venues or other arrangements, the Disability Service will be in touch with these students to assist them in setting up these supports for themselves in their own venues.

Please see table below: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/services/exam-accommodations.php

Disclosure of disability in exams – see below*

Real-Time Online invigilated Exams / Proctored Exams Real-Time Online Invigilated Exams refer to timed exams offered remotely for which students may not use any materials.

These exams are conducted through online examinations in Blackboard and they are timed, live sessions.

This exam type will be open for several hours and the recommended duration is like that of the normal exam, with some additional buffer to allow for students to navigate the system.

For Real-Time Online Invigilated Exams please ensure to add extra time stated on the student LENS (Learning Educational Needs Summary). If a student has been granted extra time for exams on their LENS, their exam must be extended to allow for these exam accommodations. Additional time of 10 (15, 20 or 30) minutes per hour will apply to all timed exams and assessments of different durations. For example, for exams and assessments of different durations, 10 minutes per hour is applied as follows:
  • 48 hours + 8 hours
  • 24 hours + 4 hours
  • 3 hours + 30 mins
  • 2.5 hours + 25 mins
  • 2 hours + 20 mins
  • 1.5 hours  + 15 mins

Guidance on adding extra-time is linked here.

Where students have use of additional supports such as technology, alternative venues or other arrangements, the Disability Service will be in touch with these students to assist them in setting up these supports for themselves in their own venues.

Please see table below: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/services/exam-accommodations.php

Disclosure of disability in exams – see below*

*Students with dyslexia and students who are deaf or have a hearing impairment may opt to disclose their disability on their examination scripts in any of the examination modalities listed above. It is the students responsibility to copy the link to the disclosure of disability linked here https://www.tcd.ie/disability/services/exam-accommodations.php#id  The Disability Service will provide this link to all students with this accommodation and will guide on its use.

The Disability Service can be contacted with any queries in relation to the provision of exam accommodations for timed, online or take home exams: askds@tcd.ie

Using technology in exams

You can use assistive technology such as screen magnification and screen reading tools, spelling and grammar checking software, and hardware or software for reading documents or dictating essays. DS recommends that students become familiar with and practice using accessibility features (see link below) at the beginning of the academic year, including touch typing exercises. Video guides for reading and voice dictation are available from our Blackboard module ASKDS Disability Support Services.

Using the disclosure of disability sticker

Students with dyslexia and students who are deaf or have a hearing impairment may opt to disclose their disability on their examination scripts in any examination modality. It is the students' responsibility to copy the link to the Disclosure of Disability Sticker.

How to set up a low distraction exam space