Author: Darla Benton Kearney, Mohawk College
We’ve learned basic principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), but how can UDL help in a post-secondary setting? The following video will give an overview of its application in this context.
The following video, UDL in Higher Education [2:09] by UDL on Campus (2015), gives an overview of the application of UDL in this context.
This UDL in Post-Secondary, Technology Enabled Learning Environments module is to demonstrate the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Ontario’s higher education context, including applicable benefits and barriers, and to outline the use of technologies in implementation.
UDL is not prescriptive, but rather encourages the application of the UDL Guidelines to not only remove learning barriers but also to support equity and inclusion and promote learning mastery. Topics in this module are organized by the curriculum process: starting with curriculum design, moving to development, and finishing with delivery processes.
The elements chosen for each topic are based on Mohawk College’s UDL Standard which are:
- Based on faculty and student research obtained during the universal design for learning for technology-enabled post-secondary courses at Mohawk College research study
- Tied to the UDL guidelines and principles developed by the Centre for Applied Special Technology (CAST)
- Focused on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (Mohawk College, 2019)
The application of UDL within curriculum is dependent on a variety of factors including core competencies, learning outcomes, course content, delivery method(s), class demographic and capabilities of the learning management system. Ideally, UDL should be considered in post-secondary when designing or revising new programs or courses, developing content for those programs or courses, and delivering that content in whatever learning environment is being used.
The following sections will ask you to think about UDL and its place in your teaching. At the end, you will be asked to complete a self-assessment based on an educational experience you have designed, developed or delivered (e.g., a course, professional development opvportunity, etc.).
Upon successful completion of this module, you should be able to:
- Reflect on the UDL Guidelines and their application in post-secondary curriculum design, development, and delivery
- Reflect on the benefits and barriers of UDL implementation in technology-enabled, post-secondary contexts
- Describe strategies for applying UDL guidelines in the design, development, and delivery of post-secondary courses and other educational initiatives
Learning Activities and Assessments
- UDL Guidelines sorting and linking activities
- Applying UDL to your context
- Reflection questions
- Completing the UDL Course Assessment (version 3.0)
Your responses to the learning activities and assessment will not need to be submitted in this module but may be used as a foundation for discussions or as part of an implementation plan.
Approximately 120 minutes
Before learning how UDL can be applied in post-secondary education in Ontario, it is helpful to refresh your memory regarding specific elements of the UDL Guidelines and your thoughts on how the framework is defined within your context:
- Review your definition of UDL developed and refined from Module 1 – Introduction and Overview of UDL
- Complete the UDL Guidelines drag and drop activity below or review the interactive UDL Guidelines.
To complete this activity drag and drop each item to the correct zone in the chart. Once you’re happy with your response, click the check button to check your answer. For more working space, you can make this activity fullscreen by clicking the double arrow button in the top right-hand corner.
To navigate this activity entirely with a keyboard:
- Use the Tab button to cycle between the Fullscreen button, draggable items, and submit button
- Use the arrows to choose the item you want to drag
- Use the space bar to select the item
- Use the arrows to choose where you want to place your item in the chart
- Press the spacebar to lock in your response
- Repeat until the chart is complete
- Tab to the check button and press enter to submit your response
If you have difficulty completing the graphic organizer you may wish to look back at the UDL Guidelines in Module 1.
Mohawk College (2019). Universal Design for Learning. https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/employees/centre-for-teaching-learning/universal-design-for-learning
UDL On Campus. (2015, Oct 7). UDL in Higher Education [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/O_MCvjkd8Jc