Universal design (or inclusive design) is part of my own goals as well as Cambrian’s strategic plan. The opportunity to hear perspectives on the topic is something I always like to dive into.

Visis bit.ly/LULUDL for the notes

Practice what you preach!

This video is a gem that I use when teaching students how to present material:

Multiple means of representation, action, expression and engagement all comes down to allowing student choices as much as pedagogically appropriate. Rubrics are helpful for ensuring consistent expectations for assignments that are represented in different ways. I like co-creating rubrics with students to allow for agency in the design of the assignment. Chunking information is also a good strategy so students can process the content.

Decisions are highly contextual and attention also needs to be paid to your own skills and limitations. We need to discuss more of our failures and experiences and talk about what worked and failed. I have tried a few things that worked and others that failed. Presenters shared their experiences with using audio and alternate. Careful selection of engaging real-world examples was also discussed. A good example / story is a very good strategy. One key thing is that you can’t do everything in every course.

Video feedback has been successful for me. Audio and video are highly engaging options that after some practice and finding efficiencies have been very successful. Open assessment has been empowering but challenging to manage as an educator (I am working on a conference presentation to go into more depth). I think that deadlines and one place for submitting assignments is essential. Allowing students to choose the theme for the next course is something I have tried that worked well. Also, badges (gamification) for experiential learning and finding errors in the course (content or technical) has been engaging. Student response systems (Mentimeter in my case) received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Starting small is a great idea. Innovation can be exhausting. It can result in failure, exhaustion and/or poor evaluations. Strategies to work around this include ongoing feedback, starting small and continuous reflection.

Want More discussion?

There have been some sessions in the past at the Hub on UDL as well as some planned ones as we work towards improving how we effectively engage students. I will watch for any public post of the presentation materials. This link is also a good resource.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit http://nursekillam.com/.


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