Episode 19: How Universal Design for Learning Can Help You Break Up Your Lectures with Dr. Thomas J. Tobin
Our guest on the show today is a colleague and friend of mine, Dr. Thomas J. Tobin. He’s here to help us think about how to reduce or lower barriers to learning in our courses using the principles of UDL, or Universal Design for Learning.
A personal story . . . When I was taking courses as an undergraduate student in college, I’ll never forget the one course I took on the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act. In that course, my group and I were required to visit two restaurants to look for ADA compliance. We were just looking in informal, casual ways. Other groups went to places such as libraries, hospitals, and in buildings throughout our own college campus.
We looked for accessibility in terms of handrails, ramps, steps, signage, parking spaces, curbs, curb cutouts, door handles, bathroom stalls . . . I had not considered all of these things because they didn’t directly impact me at the time. I didn’t know what I didn’t know about accessibility and barriers and design.
That one course gave me a whole new perspective about the world around me. Still to this day, I never look at a place of business or a house or a playground the same way.
When I first heard about UDL from Tom’s work, I had the same feeling. Only this time, it wasn’t about physical barriers and accessible design related to buildings and parks, it was about course design and lesson plans.
And that’s why I wanted to invite Tom to the show. He’s here to help us think about how to use UDL principles to break up our lectures, reduce barriers, and create learning experiences that allow all of our learners to be successful.
He’s addressing the myths, sharing specific examples, and taking us through the journey to design learning experiences that are more inclusive, accessible, and meaningful.
(This episode is part 1 of a 2-part series. Part 2 focuses on UDL in the online classroom.)
"UDL is actually a mindset. It's an approach to how we design our learning interactions."
"We must consider the "invisible" challenges we can't see (time management, family responsibilities, learning disabilities, etc.). 3/4ths of all disabilities are invisible...you can't tell from the outside."
"UDL is plus-one thinking"
- Get the book! Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone* by Thomas J. Tobin and Kirsten T. Behling
- Learn more about the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference & professional-development program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Learn how to write SMART learning objectives (from UNC-Wilmington)
Learn more about Nevitt Sanford's challenge and support theory.
- Connect with Rachael Cobb, Suffolk University
- Read more about UDL and online learning: Tobin, T. J. (2014). Increase online student retention with Universal Design for Learning. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 15(3): 13-24. http://www.engl.duq.
- Connect with the UDL Implementation & Research Network (UDL-IRN)
- Learn more about UDL on Campus (CAST): UDL On Campus: Home
- Read more about the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Learn more about Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- Learn more about the Accessible Canada Act
- Read more about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
- Read more about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Connect with Kirsten Behling, Tufts University
- Follow Eric Moore, University of Tennessee Knoxville on Twitter: @InnospireEdu
- Follow Jennifer Pusateri, University of Kentucky on Twitter: @Jen_Pusateri
- Connect with Kavita Rao, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
- Read more about UDL research: Edyburn, D. L. (2010). Would you recognize Universal Design for Learning if you saw it? Ten propositions for new directions for the second decade of UDL. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 33(1), 33-41.
- Connect with Sheryl Burgstahler, University of Washington
- Follow Allison Posey (CAST) on Twitter: @AllisonAposey
- Follow Denia Guadalupe Bradshaw, North Orange County Community College on Twitter: @gardenia987
- Follow Loui Lord Nelson, author & consultant on Twitter @LouiLordNelson
- Follow Katie Novak, Groton-Dunstable Regional School District on Twitter: @KatieNovakUDL
- Follow Luis Perez (CAST) on Twitter: @EyeOnAXS
- Learn more about Tom's work, books, and speaking topics on his website.
- Connect with Tom on LinkedI
n• Twitter • Facebook
- Join the free Lecture Breakers Facebook group
- Don't miss an episode! Be sure to subscribe to the show!
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