UDL: A framework for good teaching, a model for student success

Trinidad State Junior College, October 5, 2012

Title slide from presentationPresenter



There’s no denying it: today’s college students are diverse. Their variety is expressed in many ways—ethnicity and culture, gender, age, language background, learning styles, and disabilities. As educators, we strive to teach in a way that is sensitive to this diversity while upholding high academic standards and promoting student success. This workshop will focus on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a model of instruction that can help faculty reach and engage today’s diverse range of learners. UDL also guides the creation of course materials that are accessible to all students, particularly students with disabilities using assistive technologies.

What types of disabilities are present in today’s college student population? You may be surprised to learn that the majority of disabilities are “non-apparent,” a category that includes learning disabilities, AD/HD, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many students with these disabilities do not seek accommodations to address their disabilities, hence the need for an inclusive teaching approach that helps educators anticipate the needs of all students, both with and without disabilities. The rationale for a “universally-designed” teaching approach, and some simple techniques for implementing it, will be thoroughly explored in this session.

Instructors are often unclear about the challenges postsecondary students with disabilities face, and the barriers they encounter when trying to access course materials. The presenters will explain these challenges and demonstrate how students use various assistive technologies to interact with the materials instructors provide. Finally, the presenters will provide some hands-on instruction to assist faculty in creation of course materials that truly meet the needs of a diverse set of learners.