Accessible Dartmouth Initiative

Accessible Dartmouth Initiative

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Institute

UDL Course Intervention Areas

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The Accessible Dartmouth Initiative, a collaboration between The Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, Student Accessibility Services, and Learning Design and Innovation (ITC) is a three-year pilot program designed to strengthen Dartmouth's educational model to better meet the needs of neurodiverse learners and help all students succeed in the classroom.

The first program of the initiative, a course redesign grant, engages faculty in redesigning courses to incorporate the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The national organization CAST defines UDL as "an educational approach based on the learning sciences with three primary principles—multiple means of student engagement, multiple means of representation of information, and multiple means of student action and expression." In addition to supporting student learning, UDL benefits instructors by building accessibility into the fabric of a course, thereby minimizing the need for individual student accommodations and adjustments.

The Accessible Dartmouth Initiative aims to integrate UDL into the Dartmouth curriculum to better meet the needs of all students, including neurodiverse students – those who learn differently due to conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia – as well as first-generation college students, international students, English language learners, and students of other marginalized identities.

Universal Design for Learning Institute

Dartmouth's inaugural Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Institute will be held at Dartmouth (and online) June 20-22, 2022. Current Dartmouth faculty will have the opportunity to work independently, in groups, and one-on-one with UDL coaches from the Accessible Dartmouth Initiative (ADI) to design two or more interventions they can implement in their existing course.

The national organization CAST defines UDL as "an educational approach based on the learning sciences with three primary principles—multiple means of student engagement, multiple means of representation of information, and multiple means of student action and expression." In addition to supporting student learning, UDL benefits instructors by building accessibility into the fabric of a course.

With the UDL Institute, the ADI aims to help faculty integrate UDL into their courses to better meet the needs of all students, including neurodiverse students – those who learn differently due to conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia – as well as first-generation college students, international students, English language learners, and students of other marginalized identities. UDL also makes your course more flexible, should you need to change delivery methods during the term.

Institute participants will receive individual coaching to reach their UDL goals, lunch each day of the institute, an invitation to Institute reunion events, recognition of participation on the DCAL website (if desired), and a certificate of completion.

During the institute, you will:

  • Design and develop 2 or more course interventions based in the "Multiple Means of Engagement" principle of UDL.

  • Collaborate with colleagues to refine instructional practices and documents.

  • Prepare for the Accessible Dartmouth Initiative Course Grant application process.

The UDL Institute follows a flipped format, in which you work through asynchronous content (short videos, readings, exercises) independently before attending the 3-day institute. We estimate this pre-work will take 2-4 hours.

The institute is designed for anyone teaching a course at Dartmouth. You don't need to have any prior knowledge of UDL, although you can learn more about possible UDL course interventions below. 
 
The institute will follow Dartmouth's COVID-19 Event Guidance. Currently, masks are welcome, but not required in the DCAL space. Outdoor space will be available during lunch, and remote participation will be available via Zoom. 
 
Key dates: 

  • May 19, 2022 - Applications open for the institute. Applications will be reviewed each Friday on a rolling basis beginning May 27th. 
  • June 6, 2022 - Institute Canvas site available to participants with pre-work.
  • June 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM - Last day to apply for the Summer 2022 institute. 
  • June 20-22, 2022 - UDL Institute live sessions (102 Baker Library or on Zoom). Lunch will be provided each day 12-1pm, which may be eaten onsite or to go.
    • Monday, 9am-1pm. 
    • Tuesday, 9am-3pm.
    • Wednesday, 9am-1pm. 

Preview the application (DOCX) before you start the application.

APPLY HERE

Thank you for your interest in the UDL Institute. If you have any questions before applying, please contact us! dcal@dartmouth.edu
 
We're looking forward to working with you!
 
The Accessible Dartmouth Initiative team.

UDL Course Intervention Areas

A course redesign using the approaches of UDL aims to activate the three principles of UDL in the course context: multiple means of student engagement, multiple means of representation of information, and multiple means of student action and expression.

Among many possibilities, interventions to these ends may include:

UDL for Course Infrastructure

  • Canvas setup, site design and accessibility review using tools such as UDOIT (pronounced you-do-it)
  • Review, revision, and development of course materials to incorporated accessibility standards
  • Testing and identifying gaps in accessibility using screen readers Incorporating the use of accessibility tools in presentation
  • Revising course policies and syllabus
  • Incorporating Wellbeing in Course Design
  • Revising assessments using principles from Planning for Assessment

UDL for Course Delivery

  • Teaching a visual discipline in a way that is accessible to low-vision students, and/or an auditory discipline for the deaf or hard-of-hearing students.
  • Providing multiple means of representation of course materials
  • Using alt tags on images Including caption on visual content
  • Providing materials in advance when possible and afterwards when necessary
  • Multiple means of engagement

UDL for Course Activities

  • This includes students' work in and out of class.
  • Interventions could include providing options for course participation student work and assignments.