More than 800 higher education professionals registered to join Verbit’s inaugural virtual summit, EduALL: Making Higher Education Work for All Learners, last week on April 1st. The event was attended by individuals serving in diverse leadership roles at institutions, including deans, professors, instructional designers, accessibility and disability directors, learning technology and IT professionals, consultants and online learning experts.
EduALL aimed to bring together these leaders for more than two hours of engaging discussion on technologies and teaching tactics proven to benefit the entire student body, including students navigating disabilities.
The half-day thought leadership event was open to all for participation and was designed to provide a forum for higher-ed peers to exchange key insights and ideas.
Hundreds of attendees were able to hear live recommendations and gain inspiration from 15 speakers with proven experience in inclusion, accessibility, ed-tech and change management. The event also provided attendees with Verbit’s live captions and real-time transcription during each session, capabilities which were recently released to help Zoom videos become more accessible to all viewers.
Leaders at renowned video platforms, including Mediasite, Kaltura and YuJa, also spoke on the current surge of video usage with more schools leaning on digital tools to empower remote, online learning experiences. These video-centric sessions featured insights on how Netflix has transformed student’s expectations when it comes to video in the education setting, as well as measures which can be taken to make media more accessible and customizeable with Artificial Intelligence-based tools.
“The topics were relevant and the advice was practical thus achievable,” said one attendee who was surveyed.
The morning’s presenters also provided attendees with additional resources in the form of live links and real-time answers to their questions on enhancing the student experience. Attendees noted that the speakers’ passions for the topics addressed were palpable, specifically noting a ‘Designing Courses & Campuses to Meet Students’ Diverse Needs’ panel focused on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
“The event was excellent. The Designing Courses session was one of the most effective Zoom session[s] I’ve attended,” said one attendee speaking of this panel led by experts at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Kentucky, George Brown College and CAST.
“We came away with many new ideas and discussion points for how we as a university can encourage more participation in the UDL and accessibility movements,” another said.
Individuals surveyed after the event noted that the event provided them with content and sessions that were “very informational” and with actionable “insights to take back to their departments.” Others noted that they enjoyed the specific examples presented by speakers, including Mark Nichols of Virginia Tech who spoke on helping to “change faculty perceptions about providing accessible learning materials.”
Another attendee noted the importance of the timeliness of this event due to the coronavirus pandemic for its ability to provide an “opportunity to continue gathering information designed to help our students during this critical time.” All sessions addressed these unforeseen circumstances and provided best practices to help assuage school leaders with little to no experience teaching or facilitating online learning environments.
“The ability to get brief pieces of information without having the expense and time of traveling to a conference location” was key to another attendee, especially in a time when traveling to events is no longer an option for most.
100% of the attendees surveyed after the event said they are interested in attending similar thought leadership events led by Verbit in the future.
All of EduALL’s sessions are available to watch on-demand. You can submit your information here to gain access to the day’s content.