Iowa State University’s land grant mission to “create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place” (Mission and Vision, Office of the President, Iowa State University) is governed by policies based on federal and state law. The three main laws that govern teaching and learning activities are:
- The Americans for Disability Act (ADA)
- The Copyright Act
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
You will find below best practices and resources on implementing these laws in teaching and learning.
ADA, as amended, at the federal level is an anti-discrimination statute designed to ensure equal access to opportunities, programs, and benefits for qualified individuals with disabilities in education, employment, and other areas.
At the state level, the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA) prohibits discrimination based on disability in both employment and education. This incorporates the right to access information in education, employment, and other areas.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
To guide faculty design and develop courses accessible to learners with diverse needs and abilities, it is best practice to follow principles of universal design for learning (UDL). UDL developed as a response to the observed mismatch between learner needs and the curriculum; learners have diverse needs and abilities, but the curriculum is standardized. For learning to occur, the curriculum should be implemented flexibly. This involves:
- Representation of content – present content in multiple ways to support learners unique abilities to build knowledge
- Engagement of learners – motivate and allow learners to engage with the curriculum in different ways,
- Expression of learning – allow learners to demonstrate what they have learned in a variety of ways.
Digital accessibility deals with providing access for learners with special needs to learning materials and activities that use digital technology. It considers:
- Audio/Video Accessibility
- Document Accessibility
- Image Accessibility
- Website Accessibility
- Universal Design for Learning, CELT, Iowa State University
- The UDL Guidelines, CAST
- Why Should I Care About Digital Accessibility, Digital Access, Iowa State University
- Digital Accessibility Knowledge Base, Iowa State University
- Digital Accessibility Quick Guide, ELO, Iowa State University
- Developing Digital Content for All (video) Accessibility at ISU: Guidance for Staff & Faculty
- 10 Tips for Creating Accessible Course Content (video) Accessibility at ISU: Guidance for Staff & Faculty
The Copyright Act provides protection for “original works of authorship as soon as an author fixes the work in a tangible form of expression” (What is Copyright) and provides guidance regarding the ethical and fair use of work created by others.
Questions dealing with the ownership and use of content are common as faculty design and teach their course. The Parks library can help you with questions such as:
- How many chapters of a book can I scan for distribution to my online class on Canvas?
- How much of a movie can I screen in my classroom or use in my online course?
- Can I post my article on my website, which is published in a journal?
- Do I need to cite work in my article that is in the public domain?
- Understanding Copyright: Information Literacy Guide, Parks Library, Iowa State University
- Acceptable use of Information Technology Resources, Iowa State University