ELI Course | Implementing Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

When most people in higher education hear the phrase “universal design for learning,” they think about students with physical disabilities and the accommodations we provide in order to help them meet course outcomes. This course will show you a) how accommodations differ from  UDL, b) what you can do today, within a week, and within a month to reach out to your biggest segment of learners on their mobile devices, and c) how to implement UDL across campus to increase persistence, retention, and satisfaction for all learners.

Learning Objectives

During this ELI course, participants will:

  • Incorporate universal design for learning (UDL) elements into course-design processes.
  • Design/retrofit existing course components using UDL principles.
  • Measure student outcomes that improve with the adoption of UDL as part of institutional culture.
  • Expand the use of UDL and accessibility elements beyond the legally required minimum.

NOTE: Participants will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives stated above and will receive feedback and constructive critique from course facilitators on how to improve and shape their work.

Course Facilitator

Thomas J. Tobin

Thomas Tobin, Author and Speaker

Thomas J. Tobin spent five years as the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and is now a faculty developer and professional consultant in State College, Pennsylvania. He is an internationally-recognized speaker and author on topics related to quality in distance education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.

Since the advent of online courses in higher education in the late 1990s, Tom’s work has focused on using technology to extend the reach of higher education beyond its traditional audience. He advocates for the educational rights of people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

His most recent book is Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (Wiley, 2015) with Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor. He is currently writing Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Re-Framing Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education, expected from West Virginia University Press in late 2017.