How to Improve Accessibility and Engagement in Online and Hybrid Classrooms



  • Casey Pearson, Events Specialist, 3Play Media
  • Rebecca Klein, Content Marketing Specialist, 3Play Media

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


In this session, we’ll explore strategies for creating accessible and engaging online learning experiences in remote or hybrid classrooms. These strategies are supported by research from a recent study (2019) by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) on the educational value of accessible technologies in the classroom.


The prevalence of remote learning, recorded lectures, and hybrid classes have made video accessibility more prevalent than ever, but opportunities remain for making online learning more effective, engaging, and accessible. Enhanced teaching practices, including the use of universal design approaches, allow students to perform better and remain engaged when assistive technologies are utilized fully.

This session features research from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) evaluating the educational value of closed captioning and transcripts in lecture-based online courses. The results emphasize that assistive technologies are valuable to a wide swath of learners, including those without identified disabilities. In particular, 42 percent of students who use closed captions reported improved focus and 38 percent of students who used interactive transcripts reported better information retention.

Walk away from this presentation with an understanding of best practices for an inclusive, accessible, and engaging online classroom. Discover essential tools supported by research from USFSP that enhance the learning experience for all students and learners. [new:] Recognize the advantage of universal design approaches when used in conjunction with assistive technologies. [/new]. Leave the session with actionable steps to bring back to your virtual or hybrid classrooms.


  1. Opportunities remain for making online learning more effective, engaging, and accessible.
  2. In a study by USFSP, 42 percent of students who use closed captions reported improved focus.
  3. Accessibility tools benefit all students and learners and improve retention and focus.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Captioning/Transcription, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Casey Pearson

Casey is the Events Specialist for 3Play Media. She is the primary contact for AHG. The speaker for this proposal is Rebecca Klein.

Rebecca Klein

Rebecca Klein is a Content Marketing Specialist at 3Play Media, the industry's leading provider of video accessibility services. 3Play Media provides premiere closed captioning, transcription, translation, and audio description services to make digital video content more accessible, searchable, and engaging. In her professional life and beyond, Rebecca is passionate about working to create accessible and equitable media products.