Universal Design for Learning


The Faculty Development Center was pleased to host a 4-part workshop series on Universal Design for Learning!

To learn more about Universal Design for Learning, please check out our recordings and resources down below!

Title: Universal Design for Learning: What Is It? Why Does It Matter at EMU?

With so much diversity in the classroom today, a one-size-fits-all approach often results in frustration and alienation for students and teachers alike. Just as the universal design movement in architecture sought to make buildings and tools for living accessible to everyone regardless of age, ability, or other variables, so Universal Design for Learning (UDL) aims to remove barriers and create successful learning experiences by considering the diverse needs, strengths, and interests of students. This session will provide an overview of this research-based framework that targets engagement, instructional strategies, and authentic assessment, and a discussion of why it is important to incorporate at EMU. 

  • Jennifer Desiderio, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education & Communication Sciences and Disorders

Access the session recording here

View the session presentation here and the Deeper Dive Rubric here

Session 2

Title: Universal Design for Learning in Online Teaching

Successful teaching in an online environment requires using structures and strategies that engage all learners.  In this session, we will review the guiding principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the powerful roles of engagement, representation, and expression. This interactive session will showcase examples of engaging online teaching strategies from participants.

  • Michael McVey, Professor, Teacher Education Department
  • Sarah DeWard, Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Access the session recording here. 

View the session presentation here.

Session 3

Title: UDL in the Physical Classroom

Universal Design Learning is an educational framework that examines ways to remove curricular barriers. This session will focus on strategizing ways to create an educational environment that is inclusive of students from a variety of backgrounds, including race, gender, and learning abilities. This session asks: How do we transform the physical classroom space to be inclusive and accessible, while creating a safe, holistic learning environment?* 

  • Sadaf Ali, Associate Professor, Digital Media, Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts
  • Dyann Logwood, Assistant Professor, Women and Gender Studies

Access the session recording here.

Session 4 

Title: The Big Picture: Strategizing Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

This interactive session will revisit universal design principles, with a focus on universal design for learning (UDL), and strategize how these principles may contribute diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within an institution of higher education.  Opportunities will be facilitated for participants to discuss their own experiences of promoting inclusive learning practices in their classrooms, programs, and other services they offer to EMU students.  By the end of this session, participants will be able to reflect on universal design principles in higher education, apply universal design thinking to institutions of higher education and diversity, equity and inclusion goals, and develop an action plan for universal design at EMU.

  • LaMarcus D. Howard, Director, Disability Resource Center
  • Kat Naish, Graduate Assistant, Disability Resource Center and Ph. D. student, Educational Leadership
  • Andrea Zakrajsek, Professor, School of Health Sciences

Access the session recording here.