UDL in Action: Implementing Strategies in a Large Online Course

UDL in Action: Implementing Strategies in a Large Online Course

Aisha S. Haynes
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2325-4.ch004
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This chapter discusses universal design strategies that could be implemented in online courses. The author discusses the application of universal design (UD) principles in a large (180 students) online Computer Applications in Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management course. A survey was completed by students to determine the impact of UD strategies that were incorporated in the course. The results showed the ability to use learning aids when completing assignments, receiving instant feedback on assignments and the ability to complete course assignments unlimited times before the due date are impactful to student learning. The purpose of this chapter is to provide educators with a bank of UD strategies that can be used in online courses.
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Many educators design, develop, and deliver online courses without considering the needs of diverse learners. With over 7.1 million students enrolled in online courses nationwide, it is important for educators to consider diverse learners when designing, developing, and teaching online courses (Allen & Seaman, 2014; United States Department of Education, 2010). Educators do not know the characteristics of students who will be enrolling in their classes each semester. In most instances, instructors do not know if students have disabilities before the start of the course (Rao, Edelen-Smith and Wailehau, 2015). Many faculty and staff at the University of South Carolina - Columbia are committed to accomplishing the university’s mission of designing quality and accessible distributed learning courses (Moorefield-Lang, Copeland, and Haynes, 2016). Consequently, with continuous improvement in mind, faculty and instructional designers from the Center for Teaching Excellence collaborate to implement Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to enhance online courses. This chapter discusses ways to create accessible and universally designed courses and highlights data collected from a Computer Applications in Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management online course. The instructor collected information on the students’ perceptions regarding the impact of implementing UDL principles to create an inclusive and accessible online learning environment. The objective of this chapter is to determine the impact of UDL strategies and provide educators with a bank of UD strategies that can be used in online courses.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Learning: Anytime/anywhere access to education made available through the internet.

Universal Design for Learning: Providing equal access to curriculum for all students.

Accessibility: Ensuring access course materials to all learners.

Disability: Impairment that can makes routine tasks more difficult.

Universal Instructional Design: Principles to create accessible and inclusive learning environment.

Usability: Ease of use of course components.

Universal Design for Instruction: Guidelines for applying universal design principles to all parts of instruction.

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