The main portion of this tip is brought to you by Dr. Jamie Gunderson from the School of Education and a READI Equity Fellow through Faculty Development.
Here’s an interesting insight – chances are you’re already incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into your teaching methods, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. What is UDL? UDL is an educational framework that aims to create inclusive and flexible learning environments by providing learners with options to engage, represent, and express learning. How am I already implementing UDL? Well, consider if you incorporate peer discussions or collaborative group activities in your lessons. These practices promote collaboration and a sense of community, in line with UDL Checkpoint 8.3. Are you using tools like Canvas or other technologies to share information, interact with your learners, or enhance their engagement? This is a form of using multimedia for communication, as outlined in UDL Checkpoint 5.1. The UDL framework encourages us to reflect on how our existing teaching methods align with UDL’s principles, guidelines, and checkpoints to support all learners.
Another aspect of UDL that I find particularly appealing is its commitment to evidence-based continuous improvement. Did you know that the UDL principles, guidelines, and checkpoints are regularly reviewed, revised, and updated based on ongoing research and feedback from practitioners? Currently, there is a strong emphasis on enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion, which you can explore further by looking into the UDL Rising to Equity initiative. As soon as the updated framework becomes available, I’ll make sure to share it with our campus community. In the meantime, I encourage you to kickstart or continue your journey towards UDL and equity, diversity, and inclusion by exploring the abundant resources on the Instruction page of the READI Hub, a repository sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development. You’re likely to discover numerous strategies and ideas that will benefit your teaching practices and some that you may already be implementing – kudos!
For more tips, and resources, or to geek out on all things UDL, please contact Jamie Linn Gunderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, we in FDEV want to highlight another great resource from the NCFDD library. We spend a lot of time as tenure-track faculty working towards tenure and promotion, but not enough time thinking about what happens when you get there. Last Spring NCFDD hosted two panel discussions on what happens after earning tenure and one on promotion to full professor. You have to sign up for NCFDD (which you have free access to for this year), but once you do you will have access to an incredible catalog of useful resources for your classroom and professional development.
Last thing, remember we have a host of opportunities for faculty this Winter and into Spring. Check them out and find something that will help you.