Accessible Dartmouth Initiative

Accessible Dartmouth Initiative

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Institute

UDL Course Grant

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 - Action & Expression

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Institute: Action & Expression will be held online, December 12-14, 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to work independently, in groups, and one-on-one with UDL coaches from the Accessible Dartmouth Initiative (ADI) to design interventions in one or more courses.

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.

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. 

Institute participants will receive individual coaching to reach their UDL goals, 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 Action & Expression" principle of UDL.

  • Collaborate with colleagues to refine instructional practices and documents.

  • Prepare for the Accessible Dartmouth Initiative Course Grant application process and apply, if interested. (Note: Completion of the institute is part of grant requirements, therefore we highly encourage eligible participants to apply.)

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 on the ADI website. Faculty participants will be given priority, but we encourage other educators (i.e. staff, postdocs, and graduate teaching assistants) to apply and we will accommodate these as space allows. 
 
Key dates: 

  • September 26, 2022 - Applications open and will be reviewed each Friday. 
  • November 14 - Institute Canvas site available to participants with pre-work.
  • December 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM - Last day to apply for the Winter 2022 institute. 
  • December 12-14, 2022 - UDL Institute live sessions (on Zoom). 
    • Monday, 9am-Noon. 
    • Tuesday, 9am-3pm. (Lunch break from Noon-1pm) 
    • Wednesday, 9am-Noon. 

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, dcal@dartmouth.edu.
 
We're looking forward to working with you!
 
The Accessible Dartmouth Initiative team.

Universal Design for Learning Course Grant

The Accessible Dartmouth Initiative (ADI) is a collaboration between The Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, Student Accessibility Services, and Learning Design and Innovation (ITC). ADI supports faculty incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into Dartmouth courses with the goal of better meeting 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. In addition to supporting student learning, UDL benefits instructors by weaving accessibility and flexibility into the fabric of a course.

This course redesign grant engages faculty to incorporate UDL interventions identified in a UDL Institute into a current or new course.

The time commitment for the grant activities is generally expected to be 20-25 hours over the course of about 16 weeks. The activities listed here are described in further detail below. 
    •    UDL Institute: 10 hours
    •    Consultations and work time: 5-10 hours
    •    Feedback collection, artifact creation, and narrative: 3-5 hours

Faculty completing all of the following steps are eligible to receive a $1500 stipend.

The grant program is structured as follows: 

Step 1: UDL Institute

Attend a UDL institute, hosted by the ADI Team. Institutes will be scheduled 3 times per year (generally during June, December, and March). You will spend 2-3 days (approx. 10 hours) with fellow Dartmouth faculty learning about specific aspects of the UDL framework and applying them to your course materials. 

Learn more and apply for the UDL Institute here

Step 2: Institute Feedback Survey and Grant Opt-in

At the end of the institute, you will complete a short survey about the institute, including the option to opt in to grant activities. The opt-in will include questions relating to the course interventions you began during the institute. This will set the stage for the rest of the grant cycle. 

Step 3: Consultations and Work Time

You will work with a Learning Designer from the ADI team to continue the UDL course design work you started during the institute. Together, you and the Learning Designer will determine what interventions you will try during the next teaching term. At least 1 consultation to plan your intervention(s) is required. 

Step 4: Teach your course

With the support of your Learning Designer, you will implement the changes you developed. During the term, your Learning Designer will guide you through collecting student feedback and reflecting on your experience. 

Step 5: Share your artifact and narrative 

Drawing on student feedback and your own reflections, you will refine the course material(s), activity, or assessment(s) you changed during the redesign process. This refined material will be the artifact of your redesign that you will share with the ADI team. You will also create a short narrative to accompany your artifact. This narrative can be written, audio, video, or in any format that speaks to you. Topics addressed in your narrative should include: 
    •    A description of the intervention(s) or change(s) you implemented 
    •    Reasoning behind this change(s), including how your intervention(s) relates to UDL principles
    •    A description of student experiences with the intervention(s)
    •    A reflection on your experience with the intervention(s)

Please note that anonymized versions of your artifact and narrative may be shared as examples on the DCAL website and with future grant participants. 

Once you have submitted your artifact and narrative, you may recieve a $1500 stipend. Grantees may complete up to 3 cycles and apply for funding, totaling $4500 over 3 cycles. Each of the 3 yearly institutes will have a different focus, to allow faculty to participate in multiple institutes each year. 

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.