/ Publication / Virtual School Course Design: Accommodating Students With Disabilities

Virtual School Course Design: Accommodating Students With Disabilities
Published on February 23, 2018

Modified on December 11, 2020

Written By: 

Mary F. RiceUniversity of New Mexico

An adequate, sustainable force of educators with strong preparation for working with students with disabilities has been difficult to secure in traditional settings; that shortage exists in online settings as well. While there are nascent understandings about instructor work with students with disabilities in K-12 online settings, understanding about course design for diverse learners, including those with disabilities, is lacking. This study was carried out using ethnographic participant/observer techniques and artifact collection and analysis over the course of nearly six months. During the course of the research, barriers to accessible course design and strategies for addressing them were identified.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.