Kuvassa on piirretty kirja

For teachers and counsellors

There are many things in everyday guidance and teaching that can be taken into account to support the diversity of studying and promote accessible studying for all. There are certainly as many ways to learn and study as there are students. The diversity and accessibility of studies are built not only on physical, but also on mental and social dimensions. At its best, accessible studying is realised not only as an operating environment that takes inclusion into account and well-designed spaces and communication, but also as an equal encounter and atmosphere where knowledge, skills and attitudes value diversity.

The ESOK project has produced several guides for taking into account the diversity of students in higher education:   

Planning teaching and guidance

In studies, we are constantly faced with new things. Absorbing, remembering and learning new things takes time, but these can also be supported by taking a few things into account. 

Preparation, structuring and review of studies can be supported, for example: 

  • by exporting the presentation material used in the lecture to Moodle in advance,  
  • arranging the possibility to attend the lecture also remotely,  
  • informing of any changes in good time,  
  • creating a clear description of the structure of the course, presenting and reviewing important dates, required learning assignments and progression methods to the beginning of the course, dividing the contents and assignments to be discussed into appropriate parts, creating an overall picture of the topic at the beginning of the lesson,  
  • summarizing / highlighting the most important issues at the end of the class and 
  • recording lectures that students have the opportunity to return to them for repetition and refinement. 
Supporting learning

Learning and studying are built individually, and there is no one right way to learn. One student learns best by hearing, another by seeing, and the third by doing. For some, concentration disappears after sitting still for a long time, and for some, sitting is of great importance, for example, in managing tension.  


Different ways of learning can be supported, for example: 

  • taking multisensory channels into account in teaching (learning by seeing, hearing, doing, showing),  
  • creating alternative methods of completion, for example for exams, learning assignments and group work (does not imply different objectives or contents),  
  • observing adequate breaks,  
  • writing on the board and speaking to listeners at different times,  
  • proceeding in a logical order for the presentation,  
  • going through all the essential points of the presentation out loud,  
  • speaking at an appropriate tempo,  
  • giving instructions, exam questions and feedback both in writing and orally,  
  • enabling exiting between spaces or allowing movement during classes, 
  • taking into account the possibility of obtaining books also as audiobooks (celia.fi),  
  • possibility to use various assistive devices (noise-cancelling headphones/earplugs, reading diaphragms, seat cushions, cap, smart devices, stress balls, etc.),  
  • the possibility of starting the performance from the beginning, interrupting it briefly or ending it, if necessary,  
  • the possibility of individual arrangements of studies (see section Individual arrangements of studies). 
Teaching materials

When preparing teaching materials, their accessibility must be taken into account. This means that the use of digital materials and websites is as easy as possible. Through accessible materials, peoples differences and diversity are taken into account. 

More information about accessibility:
Regional State Administrative Agency – Accessbility


Social learning environment

When accessible learning is seen as a whole, the dimensions of physical, mental and social accessibility are recognized.  

The creation of meaningful learning experiences and a supportive atmosphere can be supported, for example, by:  

  • creating opportunities for team building,  
  • taking into account that different study skills, such as learning and developing teamwork skills, require time,  
  • discussing different ways of learning, such as working in groups, internships and seminars,  
  • building an encouraging atmosphere that values diversity and allows for different ways of learning,  
  • supporting students’ own effective means of studying,  
  • encouraging people to try different ways of learning and studying,  
  • identifying possible different needs related to learning and studying and, if necessary, guiding them forward,  
  • reminding people that studying is supported by a good everyday life and a sufficient balance between studying and free time. 
Physical learning environment

From the perspective of fluency and accessibility, meaningful and appropriate learning environments are also important.  

It is important that students have the opportunity to: 

  • quiet work areas,  
  • appropriate group workspaces,  
  • clear and sufficient lighting,  
  • from sensory stimuli to neutral states
  • sufficient space in corridors, classrooms, etc., if the student uses various mobility and study aids,  
  • where necessary, furniture suitable and adjustable for users,  
  • adequate sound reproduction,  
  • good ergonomics,  
  • adequate and easy-to-read signage, instructions and information,  
  • comfortable social spaces that promote a sense of community in studying.