Poster for AHEAD Conference 2006 - ACCESS Project at CSU

  1. Website
    1. http://accessproject.colostate.edu
  2. Description
    1. The ACCESS project is a 3-year effort designed to implement Universal Design for Learning (UDL) teaching principles across the Colorado State University (CSU) campus in order to better reach students with disabilities and atypical learning needs.
    2. The grant will provide technical assistance and professional development for university faculty, assisting them as they teach courses in ways that are accessible to a diverse student body. In addition, self-advocacy materials will be developed to help students with disabilities take initiative with their educational pursuits, connect with needed resources, and plan for future endeavors.
    3. The ACCESS Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post Secondary Education, Grant # P333A050015
  3. Team members
    1. PI: Cathy Schelly
    2. Co-PIs: Marla Roll & Pat Burns
    3. Team members: Craig Spooner, Cath Kilcommons, Julia Kothe, & Patti Davies
    4. Graduate Research Assistants: Andrea Caine, Kim Davis, Suzie Lovercheck, & Carrie Reavis
  4. Definitions
    1. Universal Design for Learning helps faculty address a variety of learning styles, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as physical, sensory, and learning disabilities. UDL creates flexible learning environments in which everyone benefits.
    2. Self-Advocacy is “the ability to recognize and meet the needs that are specific to one’s…disability without compromising the dignity of oneself or others” (Brinkerhoff, 1993. Self-advocacy: A critical skill for college students with learning disabilities. Family and Community Health, 16 (3), 23-33.)
  5. Preliminary Research
    1. Faculty perceptions of college students with learning disabilities as represented graphically in a study where N=159. The results are summarized in the text below.(Click image to view enlargement)
    2. Faculty perceptions:  159 faculty answered survey questions about their perceptions of students with learning disabilities (LD).
      1. 83.6% of them were familiar with the definition of LD
      2. 83% were aware of the challenges students with LD face
      3. 65.2% of them strongly agreed they were knowledgeable of the benefits of academic adjustments and auxiliary aids
      4. 48.1% are aware of the proven effect of adjustments and aids
      5. 89.8 % agreed to provide accommodations
      6. 65.8% are aware of resources for students with LD
      7. 94.9% are willing to refer students with LD to resources
      8. 76.5% agree or strongly agree that universally accessible teaching strategies are appropriate in higher education
      9. 43.8% currently implement universal teaching strategies in the classroom.
      10. 21% feel accommodations give students with LD an advantage over other students.
      11. 73.9% want to further their knowledge about the challenges students with LD face.
  6. Student Needs Assessment Survey Results
    1. Results from a preliminary survey of students from CSU and Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus (FRCC) show how students feel they learn best, what they feel are barriers in the classroom, and what works and doesn’t work in regard to teaching approaches.
      1. Preferred learning styles
        1. Preferred student learning style bar chart shows percentage of students that indicated a preferred type of learning style. The results are summarized in the text below. The N for the study is 39.(Click image to view enlargement)
        2. 39 students with disabilities were asked about their preferred learning style and reported the following:
          1. 87% are visual learners
          2. 61% learn well by auditory input
          3. 92% of students are hands-on learners
          4. 3% are not sure which style is best for them
          5. Most students had more than one preferred learning style
      2. Barriers in the classroom
        1. Perceived barriers to student learning charts Types of Barriers vs Percentage of Respondents where N=39. The results are summarized in the text below.(Click image to view enlargement)
        2. 39 students noted what they feel pose as barriers to their learning in the classroom. The biggest barrier (59%) noted was instructors speech, followed by noise in the classroom (38%). The individual results follow:
          1. Instructors facing away while talking:  15%
          2. Instructors speech (rate, accent):  59%
          3. Poor use of overheads:  15%
          4. Noise in the classroom:  38%
          5. Lighting:  28%
          6. Visual distractions:  3%
          7. Desks (size, location):  13%
          8. Not using any visuals during class:  33%
          9. Lecture only:  5%
      3. Effectiveness of teaching approaches
        1. Perceived effectiveness of teaching approaches are plotted with the Mean Rating vs. the Type of Approach where N=39. The results are summarized in the text below. (Click image to view enlargement)
        2. The same 39 students rated different teaching approaches on a scale of 1-5, with 1 = ‘not helpful’ and 5 = ‘very helpful.’  Not all 39 students responded to every question. The most helpful teaching approach was hands-on-learning (4.68). The mean rating for each approach was as follows:
          1. Lecture only:  2.69
          2. Overhead use:  3.03
          3. PowerPoint:  3.66
          4. Advance PowerPoint printouts:  4.11
          5. Hands-on Learning:  4.68
          6. Small group work:  3.56
          7. Quiet environment:  3.70
          8. Out of class assignments:  3.74
          9. Advance notice of tests and assignments:  4.64
          10. Using laptops in the classroom:  3.5
          11. Clickers in the classroom:  1.67
          12. Face to face discussion:  4.13
          13. Online discussions:  2.10
          14. Online class:  1.48
  7. Goals and Initiatives of the Project—UDL and Self-Advocacy
    1. Development of innovative, effective and efficient universally accessible and replicable teaching methods and strategies, using the principles of Universal Design for Learning, to provide faculty and staff with the skills and supports necessary to teach students with disabilities and atypical learning needs.
    2. Development of self-advocacy materials, handbook and webpage to help students with disabilities take initiative with their educational pursuits and connect with    needed resources. Self-advocacy strategies will also be incorporated into the faculty and staff training.
    3. Delivery of said methods and strategies using the principles of Universal Design for Learning, to faculty and staff at Colorado State University (CSU), Front Range Community College, CSU Pueblo campus and CSU Cooperative Extension field offices.
    4. Administration, widespread dissemination and evaluation of the project
  8. Proposed Products of the Project (to be available on the web and on CD/DVD)
    1. Faculty professional development materials
    2. Student self-advocacy and technical assistance materials
  9. Dissemination
    1. The ACCESS Project will begin to disseminate products and information at state, regional, and national levels beginning 2007-2008.
  10. Self-Advocacy includes three interconnected parts:

    A three-part model of self-advocacy, explained in the text below.(Click image to view enlargement)

    1. Part One
      1. Planning Ahead for College
      2. Understanding your Disability & Abilities
      3. Knowing your Rights & Responsibilities
      4. How Parents Can Help
    2. Part Two
      1. Seeking Resources & Accommodations on Campus
      2. Developing a Natural Support Network
    3. Part Three
      1. Making Decisions
      2. Getting Organized
      3. Setting Goals
    4. Student quote: “I'm dyslexic and have a hard time reading, writing and spelling. I need extra time on tests. I use a note-taker and use computers to do all my work.”  - CSU Student
  11. Institutionalization at CSU
    1. Stand-alone trainings at CSU have not proven effective at making systemic change in faculty teaching practices. The aim of the ACCESS project is to embed content into established training venues. Means of delivery will be as follows:
      1. Individualized support, mentoring, and training
      2. Small group in-services
      3. Self-paced web-based instruction
      4. Hands-on workshops
      5. Extensive website
    2. Training (professional development) topics for faculty:
      1. Pedagogy
        1. UDL History and Definitions
        2. Best Teaching Practices and Instructional Design
      2. Disability Awareness
        1. Rights and Responsibilities      
        2. Legislation Overview
        3. Resources and Accommodations Available at CSU
        4. Introduction to Assistive Technology and Adaptive Computing
        5. Types of Disabilities, Barriers they Present, and Accommodations Needed
      3. Technical Support
        1. Enhancing the Accessibility of:
          1. MS Office
          2. Adobe Acrobat and Reader
          3. WebCT
          4. Multimedia (video and Flash accessibility)
          5. E-Reserves
          6. PowerPoint
          7. Dreamweaver
          8. Customizing your Computer’s Interface
          9. E-Text
    3. Venues for faculty dissemination
      1. New Faculty, Staff, and GTA training
      2. Faculty Mentoring Programs
      3. Computer Training and Support Services
      4. Diversity Training
      5. The Institute for Learning and Teaching
      6. Campus Innovators (faculty building UDL into curriculum)
      7. Brown Bag Discussions
      8. Others
    4. Training topics for students
      1. Pedagogy
        1. UDL History, Best Practices, Definitions
      2. Technical Support
        1. Customizing your Computer’s Interface
        2. E-Text
        3. How to Make the Most of:
          1. MS Office
          2. Adobe Reader
          3. WebCT
          4. Video & Flash accessibility features
          5. E-Reserves in the Library
    5. Venues for student dissemination
      1. Campus Resources for Students with Disabilities
        1. Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC)
        2. Resources for Disabled Students (RDS)
      2. Accommodations,  Support, & Advocacy
        1. Academic Advancement Center (AAC)
        2. Learning Assistance Center (LAC)
      3. Academic Support
        1. The Writing Center
        2. College Advisors
      4. Other Support Services
        1. Career Center
        2. Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA)
        3. Center for Community Partnerships (CCP)
        4. Hartshorn Health Services
        5. RAMweb
        6. University Counseling Center
        7. Residential and Greek Life
        8. Student Orientation
    6. Faculty quote: “As a faculty member, I am excited to know that the principles of UDL will be infused into all aspects of professional development and curricular support here at CSU. This assures me that I will have the knowledge base and technical support to reach all students in my classroom.” - CSU Professor, Cathy Schelly