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Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Course Changes

Created for a faculty inquiry group project on UDL.

UDL Course Redesign

UDL is most effective when applied through a course development or redesign process. UDL is not intended to be an add-on or supplement to a course but, rather, an integral pedagogical filter in the development, delivery, and assessment of a course. In addition to advocating innovative course design and multiple modes of student engagement, UDL encourages the use of "accessible" and "usable" course materials that accommodate the widest variety of learners.

So how does one begin the course redesign or development process? The associated graphic offers a series of steps that faculty can adopt individually or preferably via the support of a professional learning community. In addition, related resources are offered below.

Assuming that faculty have a basic understanding of the UDL principles, they are asked to select one course they commonly teach and consider the principles in light of course "threshold" or key concepts and associated student learning outcomes. The CAST UDL guidelines are helpful tools/research-based strategies that support faculty in reflecting upon "what they teach," "how they teach," and "how they assess student learning in light of the selected key course concepts. Faculty are then asked to develop and implement UDL changes associated with these selected key course concepts and assess the learning outcomes accordingly. The UDL video case stories on Merlot offer numerous examples of how faculty have engaged in this course redesign process.

As noted in the graphic, the UDL Syllabus Rubric is a central element throughout this iterative process and is explained in greater depth in the next UDL Course Changes section.

Faculty Developer Tip

The following Course Redesign Process graphic represents the steps and primary resources to be used when working with faculty to make UDL course changes.