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Tuesday, May 29 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Including all Learners through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Higher Education

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The Full Inclusion Movement (FIM) grew out of grassroots disability movements where caregivers of children with special learning needs wanted their loved ones to be included in regular classrooms. The BC Ministry of Education has mandated that teachers within the K -12 public education systems implement the Full Inclusion model when teaching children and youth. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the theoretical framework that enables educators to meet all students’ learning needs within a generalist setting. The inquiry that is of interest to teacher educators and scholars, Dr. Nan Stevens and Dr. Gloria Ramirez at Thompson Rivers University, is how UDL methods can improve teaching and learning in the post secondary context.

This session will begin with an overview of Universal Design for Learning, a research-based set of principles (multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression) that guide curriculum development and pedagogical practices that make learning accessible to learners with diverse characteristics (e.g., cognitive, cultural, linguistic) and needs.

Through concrete examples, we will explore practical ideas and strategies to promote accessible learning environments guided by UDL in undergraduate and graduate courses. This exploration will cover course syllabi, classroom activities, and assessment strategies.

Examples from undergraduate and graduate courses include:
  • Multiple means of engagement: small group work, gallery walk, in-class collaborative activity using Google docs.
  • Multiple means of representation: dancing statistics, open coding jelly beans video, other videos, caption for audios and videos, research provocations seminars, Moodle platform, dramatic representation, photo-voice, and journaling
  • Multiple means of action and expression: Online discussion forums, index cards for silent participation, Be the Expert peer assessment, oral presentations, Synchronous and asynchronous online video conferences, introduction through personal video, introduction through a poem, monologue or photo essay. 

The session will close with an interactive, facilitated, critical discussion on opportunities and challenges for the implementation of UDL in higher education. Participants will be able to participate actively by asking questions and providing insights into shared resources for implementing UDL as an inclusive model for learning in higher education.


Dr. Nan Stevens

Senior Lecturer, TRU
I am a teacher educator teaching in Bachelor and Masters of Education programs at TRU. My specialty us inclusion and disability studies. I work with beginning teachers on UDL practices, creating sensory smart classrooms and differentiating instruction for diverse learning... Read More →

Tuesday May 29, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm AKDT
Port of Singapore