Eastern Michigan University

General Guidelines for Universal Design/Accessible Course Development

  • Provide comprehensive syllabus with clearly identified course requirement, expectations, accommodation statement and due dates.
  • Announce reading assignments well in advance; students may need time to have their reading materials converted to alternative formats or to complete reading assignments.
  • Start each class period with an outline of material to be covered that day and briefly summarize key points at the end of the lecture.
  • Speak directly to students, using gestures and natural expressions to enhance understanding.
  • Present new vocabulary and give course assignments in a variety of ways: in lecture, through examples, on the blackboard, on handouts, at websites, etc.
  • Fluctuate instructional methods, provide illustrations, handouts, auditory and visual aids.
  • Put course content online, allowing students to "pick up" material that might have been missed in lecture.
  • Use peer mentoring, group discussions, and cooperative learning situations rather than strictly lecture.
  • Using guided notes enables students to listen for essential concepts without copying notes off of overhead.
  • Update course materials based on current events and student demands.
  • Clarify any feedback or instructions, ask for questions, and repeat or give additional examples.
  • Relate a new topic to one already learned or a real-life example.
  • Allow a student to tape record lectures or provide him/her with a copy of your notes.
  • Provide copies of overheads and/or PowerPoint slides.
  • Provide opportunities for questions and answers and schedule review sessions.
  • Allow the student to demonstrate knowledge of the subject through alternate means.
  • Permit and encourage the use of adaptive technology.
  • Develop study guides.
  • Give more frequent exams that are shorter in length.
  • When in doubt about how much to assist the student, ask him or her.
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