How to ask lecturers for access to material before lectures and seminars

Who might this blog post be useful for?: Anyone who needs to have slides made available prior to lectures/seminars but isn’t sure how to ask.

What study skills challenges can this app help you overcome?: Anxiety around asking module leaders, lecturers, seminar tutors about having material made available in advance.

What is the tool or study skills strategy?: Email templates and advice on making requests for reasonable adjustments.

One common adjustment recommended in Learning Support Plans by DDSS is to have access to lecture notes and slides available prior to lectures where possible. This enables the student to perform appropriate anticipatory prep work (i.e. learning key terms, preliminary readings) and to convert it into an accessible format where necessary. I personally like to have slides in advance so that I can either print them off or insert them into Audio Notetaker for me to record onto and annotate.

Here’s an email template that you can feel free to amend and use as necessary. The red underlined text should be deleted and amended as appropriate.


Dear Lecturer (Use their formal title or first name, depending on how they have introduced themselves/ how well you know them, if in doubt, go formal first),

I’m just emailing regarding (module name and lecture day, time and location).

I have a health condition/disability/specific learning difficulty (amend as appropriate, you don’t have to go into detail if you don’t want to, I usually just say health condition or SpLD) which the department is aware of. My Learning Support Plan, which is attached at the end of this email, recommends that I be able to access lecture notes/slides in advance, in order that I can use assistive tech/ prepare myself for lectures properly etc.

I was wondering if this would be possible for future lectures? I would really appreciate it!

Many Thanks,

Student


Here’s a quote of one email I sent verbatim (names edited out):


Hi X,
thanks for your lecture yesterday it was really engaging.
I have a specific learning difficulty and my learning support plan (which I believe you/ the department have a copy of) recommends being able to access lecture slides in advance because of the assistive software I use.
I was just wondering if this would be at all possible for future weeks?
Thanks very much in advance,
Rachel

I have also written a blog post on how to ask permission to record lectures and seminars.

I hope this helps!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel