Efficient Strategies for Integrating Universal Design for Learning in the Online Classroom
Leonia Houston, The University of Memphis
Many learners who have not chosen to identify as having physical, sensory, and learning disabilities still may struggle to learn in the online learning environment due to diverse abilities and backgrounds, differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and other factors that affect perception, learning ability, and engagement. Given the apparent difficulty of a subset of learners who choose to learn in technology-enhanced instructional environments, most online learners identify as average or exceptional learners but they may not have their learning needs met due to inadequate course design, development, and delivery. This article will explore how the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework can be integrated efficiently into all phases of the online course development process. It will explore how the strategies can help faculty meet the challenge of learner diversity. Alternative approaches are included to encourage the creation of flexible instructional materials, techniques, and options that empower educators to meet the varied needs of online learners.
Universal Design for Learning, UDL, design, development, delivery, course and curriculum planning, instructional design services, learner readiness, online course readiness, course materials, content creation, accessible content development and instructional media, engagement, retention, success, evaluation, and redesign