Certificate in Universal Design for Learning

Description

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Program will provide instructors with the knowledge and skills to apply Universal Design for Learning principles and to consider other equity-focused frameworks in their own teaching practices. UDL is a framework that centres the needs of students to create more equitable and inclusive learning environments. The design of this certificate program embodies the key principles of UDL, allowing participants to set their own goals and choose a flexible path through the curriculum that aligns with these goals.

 Outcomes

  • Examine the ways that the UDL, anti-oppressive practice (AOP), antiracism, and decolonization frameworks support learners.
  • Assess perceptions about student motivation, social inclusion, barriers to learning, assessment, and expert learners.
  • Construct flexible teaching and learning environments that honour learner variability, diversity, and lived experience.
  • Reflect on ongoing practice and discovery within a learning community context guided by key elements and principles of UDL.
  • Explore the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration in creating shared learning environments (informed by UDL, AOP, antiracism, and decolonization).
  • Navigate the resources and tool available to Western instructors for implementing UDL principles in your own teaching contexts.

Program Offerings

Introductory Module

This first module will introduce you to the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning and other anti-oppressive practices and equity-centred frameworks for education. You will have an opportunity to reflect on learner variability and what that means for creating inclusive classes. You will also have an opportunity to set goals for yourself in the program. This module has both an asynchronous and a synchronous component. There are options to attend the synchronous workshop either in person or online.

Core Modules

  • Multiple Means of Engagement: This module focuses on how affect and learner motivation are intrinsically linked to individual traits: including neurological, cultural, and personal differences. This module has both an asynchronous and a synchronous component. There are options to attend the synchronous workshop either in person or online.
  • Multiple Means of Representation: This module focuses on how learners differ in the way that they perceive and understand information and explores concrete ways of providing options that work for diverse classes. This module has both an asynchronous and a synchronous component. There are options to attend the synchronous workshop either in person or online.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression: This module focuses on how learners differ in their approaches to learning tasks and their ability to express understanding in different modes. This module has both an asynchronous and a synchronous component. There are options to attend the synchronous workshop either in person or online.

Final Capstone Project

The final capstone project is a requirement for those hoping to receive the Universal Design for Learning Certificate. This is an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and skills developed through the modules and apply these to your own practices. You will receive facilitator feedback on your project submission.

Upcoming Workshops

2023-24 Series


Description

Learners are diverse and often have diverse needs, motivations, and expectations. A one-size-fits-all course design can create barriers to participation and success for some learners. This session will introduce participants to the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an approach to designing courses, course content, and assessments that acknowledges the diversity of learners and provides learners with more options for engagement, representation, and action and expression. We will also discuss how UDL intersects with other anti-oppressive practices in education and can be used as one tool for creating more inclusive learning environments.


Description

Are you interested in making your teaching practices more inclusive? Do you use or want to learn more about Universal Design for Learning and/or other equity-frameworks in your teaching? This is the first meeting of the UDL/Inclusive Teaching Community of Practice (CoP). This community will offer opportunities for conversation, collaboration, learning, sharing, and creation for those interested in inclusive teaching practices. Everyone who is involved in teaching or shaping learning experiences is invited to join us; you do not need to be working on the Universal Design for Learning Certificate. The first meeting will focus on community building and starting to define our goals as a community. If you are interested in participating, but not able to join us, please contact Dani at ddilkes2@uwo.ca. We'll ensure you're included on future communications.

Description

Learners are diverse and often have diverse needs, motivations, and expectations. A one-size-fits-all course design can create barriers to participation and success for some learners. This session will introduce participants to the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an approach to designing courses, course content, and assessments that acknowledges the diversity of learners and provides learners with more options for engagement, representation, and action and expression. We will also discuss how UDL intersects with other anti-oppressive practices in education and can be used as one tool for creating more inclusive learning environments.


Description

This module focuses on how learners differ in the way that they perceive and understand information. We will discuss learner variability and explore concrete ways of representing information in different ways that will reduce barriers to understanding and participation for diverse classes. We will examine each of the UDL guidelines for Multiple Means of Representation in detail, including perception, language, and comprehension.


Description

This module focuses on how affect and learner motivation are intrinsically linked to individual traits, backgrounds, and identities: including neurological, cultural, and personal differences. We will discuss different ways in which learners can be engaged and motivated in learning, and how to provide multiple means of Engagement in your course designs. We will examine each of the UDL guidelines for Engagement, including how to recruit interest, sustain effort and support self-regulation.


Description

This module focuses on how learners differ in their approaches to learning tasks and their ability to navigate learning environments and express understanding. We will explore different approaches to learning and assessment design that allow for multiple means of action and expression while still upholding constructive alignment with course outcomes. We will examine each of the UDL guidelines for Action & Expression, including physical action, communication and executive functions.


Registration

Enrolment Requirements

The UDL modules are open to any faculty, librarians, and archivists, or staff involved in teaching activities, course design, or supporting learners at Western.

To access the asynchronous module content, self-enroll in the OWL UDL site here.

Graduate students are not eligible for this certificate; however, they are invited to participate in the UDL Future Prof Series workshops which can be applied to their Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning.

Instructions

How to register for the certificate

To access the asynchronous module content, faculty or staff can self-enroll in the OWL UDL site here.

How to register for the events

  1. Login to Western Connect select user type faculty or staff and enter your Western username and password.
  2. Go to the Event Calendars section and select the Centre for Teaching and Learning calendar, then select the program you wish to register in. Details and a description of the program will appear.
  3. Select the Register for this Event button. If the event has reached capacity, you may have the option to register on the waitlist.
  4. You will receive an automated confirmation email to your Western email account. 

Accessing your Western Connect events attendance record

  1. Login to Western Connect with your Western username and password.
  2. From your dashboard, go to the tab at the far right labelled Event Registration. The Event Title, Event Date, Location, Date Registered, and Registration Status will be listed for each event.
    NOTE: this tab will display all event registrations within Connect, so be sure to check that the "Module" column indicates Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Completing the Certificate

  • Participants have the option to opt-in to a Certificate in Universal Design for Learning. To receive the certificate, you must complete all 4 modules and a final capstone project. The final capstone project is an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and skills developed through the modules and apply these to your own practices.
  • The program components can be completed over any time frame. Participants should complete the introductory module first and the capstone last, but the three core modules can be completed in any order.

You may also be interested in:

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to register for the Certificate in Universal Design for Learning?

Faculty, Instructors, and Staff are all eligible to register in the certificate program or to sign up for individual modules or workshops. Graduate students are not eligible for this certificate; however, they are invited to participate in the UDL Future Prof Series workshops which can be applied to their Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning.

How long does it take to complete the Certificate?

The full suite of program components can be completed within two years. However, you are welcome to complete single modules without committing to the full certificate.

When should I sign up for the Certificate and/or events

To access the asynchronous module content, faculty or staff can self-enroll in the OWL UDL site here

To register for an event, please see the Western Connect CTL Event Calendar

Do I need to complete the Certificate components in a specific order?

You may complete the required modules in any order, whenever it is most convenient for you. However, we recommend starting with the Introduction as it does lay the foundation for the subsequent modules. The capstone is an opportunity to apply concepts learned throughout the program and should be done after all modules have been completed.

Who keeps track of my progress towards the Certificate?

It is your responsibility to keep track of the program components you have completed. There is a tracking tool available in the OWL site to help you track your progress.