Looking for concrete and easy to implement tools to make your classroom more inclusive? In these short videos, McGill Faculty members share some tools they have successfully integrated into their classroom. Each video is about 3 minutes long and highlights one of the three UDL principles. Please feel free to share these with your colleagues and department. Similarly, if you would like to contribute a tip or one of your personal experiences, and create a video of your own to highlight your inclusive practices, please contact tanja.beck [at] mcgill.ca (Tanja Beck).
Universal Design at McGill
McGill faculty have been kind enough to share their own creative ways of applying the principles of UDL in their classrooms in a video format:
Three principles of Universal Design for Learning
To reduce barriers to learning, it is important to ensure that key information is equally perceptible to all learners. There is no one medium to represent information that is equally accessible for all students. Information conveyed solely through sound, for example, is not equally accessible to all learners and is especially inaccessible for learners with hearing disabilities, for learners who need more time to process information, or for learners who are English Second Language Learners. It is essential to provide options. Graphic Organizers are a great way to visually represent complex concepts, capture the essential components of a lecture and organize thoughts and ideas.
Take away tool: visual mapping software
Providing multiple means of action and expression (the how of learning) means providing different ways for students to demonstrate what they know and what they have learned. Assessments are designed to measure knowledge, skills, and abilities. Providing students with a single method of evaluation such as multiple choice exams or written assignments can create barriers for students with Learning Disabilities, students who are English second language learners or students from different cultural backgrounds. Application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to assessment used in postsecondary courses has the potential to ensure that the variability among learners is addressed.
Take away tool: ungraded or optional assignments
Take away tool: providing flexibility and variety in instruction and assessment
What opportunities are available for learners to be actively engaged? Knowing that active participation is key to learning, consider adopting various ways that students can actively participate in class. Active participation strengthens learning and, ultimately, the effectiveness of your instruction. Start by identifying the potential barriers to engagement in your class. While some students may thrive giving presentations and actively participating in front of the class, it can create barriers for other students such as students with anxiety or depression but also students who come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Individual learner variability is the norm not the exception. It is essential to provide options for students to engage with the material, such as, small group discussions, online discussions or group presentations to give all students the opportunity to equally engage with their learning.