15th Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Universal Design for All Learners

SFU's annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning is the premier forum for faculty members, instructors, staff and students to share ideas, experiences and practices related to teaching and learning. This year’s event will include a keynote address by Thomas J. Tobin (right) of Northeastern Illinois University and a half-day pre-Symposium workshop with consultations.

Selected resources from Symposium presentations

(Files are in PDF format unless otherwise indicated)

An Argument for Inclusion: Bridging Language, Learning Styles and Cultures with a Dynamic, Student-Designed Instructional Video | Slides
Chantal Gibson, Hana Mareck and Darren MacPhail

Chitter Chatter: Building Bridges for Connected Classrooms | Handout
Loretta Jackson and Zuzana Vasko

Creating Safety in the Classroom and Online When the Subject Matter is Anything But Safe | Handout
Sherri Fabian and Katherine Rossiter

Creative Catapults: Learning How to Play for Creative Exploration in Non-Design Classrooms | Infographic
Hannah Celinski, Camila Ferreira and Emily Ip

Designing Learning Environments for Well-being | Slides
Rosie Dhaliwal, Alisa Stanton, Jennesia Pedri and Adam Dyck

Developing Eyes to See UDL Principles in Practice | Handout
Cheryl Amundsen, Laura D’Amico and Tara McFarlane

Engaging Students in “Unpopular Courses” | Slides
Malgorzata Dubiel and Veselin Jungic

Getting Started with UDL in Our Disciplines: Using Visual Facilitation and Inclusive Collegial Dialogue | Slides
Barbara Berry, Kathleen Burke and David Rubeli

How Ready Are Students to “Flip the Classroom” Using Online Educational Material? | Slides
Mark Roseland and Maria Spiliotopoulou

Incorporating Universal Design Principles into Your Courses | Slides
Afsaneh Sharif and Marie Krbavac

Parti in the Classroom! | Grading rubric handout | Slides (html)| Digital poster (html)
Andrew Hawryshkewich

Universal Design in Action: Building UDL Principles into Your Canvas Course Shell | Guidelines handout | Principles handout
Kar-On Lee and Joy Rowe

Pre-Symposium Universal Design for Learning Workshop and Consultations
Tue, May 17, 2016 | 1:00–4:30
Burnaby campus

Symposium on Teaching and Learning
Wed–Thu, May 18–19, 2016 | 8:30–4:30
Burnaby campus

Keynote speaker: Thomas J. Tobin, Coordinator of Learning Technologies, Center for Teaching and Learning, Northeastern Illinois University

See the Call for Proposals (submission deadline is March 11)

   Registration closed
   tlcevent@sfu.ca

Additional information

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers three guiding principles for the design and delivery of inclusive learning opportunities: multiple ways/forms of (1) engagement, (2) representation, and (3) expression. The notion is that as one gets closer to these ideal principles, more students will learn more. Given the varied and complex teaching and learning contexts, to say nothing of the diversity of needs (visible and invisible), incorporating these principles in the course design process may offer some opportunity to make small changes that will have a big impact in practice. This year’s Symposium looks at how instructors’ current practices implicitly reflect one or more of the principles: (1) individual relevance and motivation for learning, (2) different ways of learning, and (3) different ways of demonstrating learning; and explores ways the principles might be used explicitly to guide practice.

We invite interactive and innovative proposals from SFU faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, tutor-markers, graduate and undergraduate students, instructional staff and administrators that demonstrate how Universal Design for Learning is being used in your teaching practice, research or scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning to benefit your students’ learning. Session topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Adopting a UDL framework to support students, learning environments and/or student engagement
  • Using UDL for curriculum, program and course re/design, renewal and assessment
  • Incorporating educational media and/or learning technologies in UDL practices to facilitate diversity, accessibility and inclusivity
  • Integrating UDL practices in research and/or the scholarship of teaching and learning

Poster session files

  • Developing Resources for Teaching Teams (PDF)
    (Jan Marontate et al.)
  • Parti in the Classroom! (PDF | JPEG)
    (Andrew Hawryshkewich)
  • Trying to Solve the “Jargon Problem” in Undergraduate Science (PDF)
    (Megan Barker et al.)
  • What Health Sciences Students Think About Creative Teaching Approaches (PDF)
    (Maya Gislason et al.)

Pre-Symposium Workshop

Five Keys to Unlocking Universal Design for Learning
Date and time:
Tue, May 17, 2016 | 1:00–4:30
Facilitator:
Thomas J. Tobin, Coordinator of Learning Technologies, Center for Teaching and Learning, Northeastern Illinois University
Abstract:
To help make educational materials and practices inclusive for all learners, this interactive session radically reflects on how to motivate and inspire adoption of Universal Design for Learning: by sharing easy-to-accomplish, use-them-tomorrow UDL strategies and broadening the focus away from learners with disabilities and toward a larger ease-of-use/general diversity framework. Bring your course syllabus; you’ll leave with a UDL-friendly version.

Workshop learning outcomes, activities and description

Learning outcomes and activities

Participant outcomes: Participants will be able to:

  • Add Universal Design for Learning /Instruction elements to existing courses
  • Design/retrofit course components using UDL principles
  • Motivate adoption of UDL as part of the campus culture
  • Expand their institution’s use of UDL elements beyond the legally required minimum

Session activities: Participants will examine and share their own institutional perspectives on UDL adoption through the use of:

  • An exercise for participants to share ideas and perspectives surrounding UDL
  • A hands-on activity to add UDL elements to their course syllabi, either on paper or via their Internet-connected devices

Workshop description

To help make educational materials and teaching practices inclusive for all learners, this workshop radically reflects on how to motivate and inspire faculty members to adopt Universal Design for Learning (UDL): broaden the focus away from learners with disabilities and toward a larger ease-of-use/general diversity framework. Advocates for the rights of people with disabilities have worked hard to make universal design in the built environment “just part of what we do”: we no longer see curb cuts, for instance, only as accommodations for people with disabilities, but perceive their usefulness every time we ride our bikes or push our strollers across a crosswalk.

This is also a perfect model for making UDL less a practice that faculty members and institutions adopt in order to respond to specific accommodation requests from learners with disabilities, and more of an effort that benefits all learners. This workshop explores two keys to making this shift: sharing easy-to-apply strategies for faculty members in UDL principles and practices, and re-framing UDL as a way to reach students where they spend much of their time: on their mobile devices.

Pre-Symposium leadership consultations

Going Beyond Disability and Into Student Success
Date and time:
Tue, May 17, 2016 | 3:30–4:30
Facilitator:
Thomas J. Tobin, Coordinator of Learning Technologies, Center for Teaching and Learning, Northeastern Illinois University
Abstract:
This informal session affords campus leaders a rare chance to talk with an expert in the field of UDL about program- and institution-level ideas for achieving greater student persistence, retention and satisfaction. Dr. Tobin’s expertise includes working within a unionized higher-education environment; serving English as a second language (ESL), first-generation and remedial-need learners; and balancing financial needs with academic freedom. Bring your ideas, questions and scenarios. Our focus will be on how to “walk the talk” as a leader who advocates for the educational rights of all learners.

Symposium opening plenary session/Keynote address

Reach Everyone and Teach Everyone with Universal Design for Learning
Date and time:
Wed, May 18, 2016 | 9:15–10:45
Keynote speaker:
Thomas J. Tobin, Coordinator of Learning Technologies, Center for Teaching and Learning, Northeastern Illinois University
Abstract:
To help make educational materials and practices inclusive for all learners, this interactive session radically reflects on how to motivate and inspire adoption of Universal Design for Learning: broaden the focus away from learners with disabilities and toward a larger ease-of-use/general diversity framework.

You will leave this session with use-them-tomorrow strategies for incorporating UDL into your courses, and you'll see how the UDL work you do now will save you and your students time and energy in the future. We will examine how to extend the reach of the university and the professor beyond the classroom by taking advantage of a key learning tool: students’ mobile devices.

About Thomas J. Tobin

Dr. Thomas J. Tobin is the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. In the field of online-course and -program quality, he is best known for his work on administrative-evaluation techniques; his article on “Best Practices for Administrative Evaluation of Online Faculty” (2004) is considered a seminal work in the field, and has been cited in more than 150 publications. His latest work is Evaluating Online Teaching: Implementing Best Practices (Wiley, 2015) with B. Jean Mandernach and Ann H. Taylor.

Since the advent of online courses in higher education in the late 1990s, Dr. Tobin’s work has focused on using technology to extend the reach of higher education beyond its traditional audience. He advocates for the educational rights of people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dr. Tobin serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration and the Journal of Interactive Online Learning, and he is an internationally recognized speaker and author on topics related to quality in distance education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity and accessibility/universal design for learning. He is currently writing Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: A Practitioner’s Guide to Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education, expected from West Virginia University Press in 2017.

May 19, 2016