UDL New Year’s Resolutions
- I resolve to use Tegrity to record my class sessions to support students who need more time to absorb spoken messages.
- I resolve to use alt-text for images I use in Powerpoint presentations to support students who use screen-readers to review slide presentations.
- I resolve to use Snapverter to convert PDFs and other content to support students who use screen readers to read text documents.
- I resolve to urge my students to engage in collective note-taking to support students who need note-taking as an accommodation.
- I resolve to close-caption my Tegrity videos to support international students and students who have difficulty processing audio content.
- I resolve to post my lecture notes to Blackboard to support students who need more time to process in-class lectures and absent students.
- I resolve to use styles instead of individual style buttons when creating Word documents to support students who use screen-reading software.
- I resolve to assign a variety of different assessments (tests, papers, videos, portfolios, podcasts, etc.) to support students who may demonstrate learning in different ways.
- I resolve to survey my students at the beginning of a course to learn more about them and support students who wish to confidentially disclose particular learning needs. See a sample index card survey format here.
- I resolve to incorporate “muddiest point” or “minute paper” exercises at the end of class to support students who need another avenue of expressing what they have learned, and what they still need help with.
- I resolve to give provide students an agenda for each day’s experience and update them on it throughout the class to support students who have trouble focusing and need guideposts to tell one concept from another.
- I resolve to tease the next class session at the end of each class to support students who need help transferring skills and knowledge from one class to another.
Resources to get you started
Course Design: Plan and design curriculum with variability in mind
Media and Materials: Use digital media to create flexible learning environments
Accessibility and Policy: Ensure learning opportunities are inclusive of all
- From the text “Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone”- Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education by Thomas J. Tobin & Kirsten T. Behling.
Principles of Universal Design for Learning
- Equitable Use: Instruction is designed to be useful and accessible by students with diverse abilities.
- Flexibility in Use: Instruction is designed to accommodate a wide range of individual abilities and learning preferences.
- Simple and Intuitive: Instruction is designed in a predictable manner, regardless of the student’s background knowledge, prior experience, or language skills. Eliminate any unnecessary complexities.
- Perceptible Information: Instruction is designed so that required knowledge is communicated effectively, regardless of environmental conditions or the student’s sensory learning differences.
- Tolerance for Error: Instruction is designed to anticipate variation in individual learning paces and prerequisite skills.
- Low Physical Effort: Instruction is designed to minimize nonessential physical effort, to maximize attention to learning. (This does not apply when physical effort and tasks are integral to the requirements of the course.)
- Size and Space for Approach: Instruction is designed with consideration for variations in student’s mobility, body size, posture, and communication needs.
- A Community of Learners: Instruction is designed to promote interaction among students, and between students and faculty.
- Instructional Climate: Instruction is designed to be welcoming and inclusive.
Practical Examples of UDL
- Collective Notetaking
- Multiple instructional delivery methods that motivate and engage all learners.
- Examples that appeal to students with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, age, and ability
- Assessing student learning using multiple methods.
- Allowing students to use a word processor for writing and editing papers or essay exams
- Flexible learning environments and work spaces.
- Printed publications, exams, and handouts that are available in alternate formats (e.g., electronic or large print).
- Captioned videos.
- Alternative text for graphic images on web pages so that individuals who are visually impaired are able to access the content.
- Software that is compatible with assistive technology.
- Textbooks and other reading materials that are available in digital format enables students with diverse needs to access materials through print or by using technological supports.
- Using a circular seating arrangement in small class settings to allow students to see and face speakers during discussion-important for students with attention problems.
- Fostering communication among students in and out of class by structuring study and discussion groups, email lists, or chat rooms.
Tips and Instructions
Revamping a course to be accessible to students with physical or learning disabilities can help make it accessible to everybody else, too.
- Guide for People who have Low Mobility or Dexterity
- Guide for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Master Link: Master Link to Guides from The Windows Club