Nancy Aguinaga on The Assessment Aspect of Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

Hello! My name is Nancy Aguinaga. I am an assistant professor in the College of Education at Southeast Missouri State University. For the last five years, I have worked with pre-service and in-service teachers on the importance of moving away from the traditional “one size fits all” approach to teaching and assessment and moving towards using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach to teaching.

Hot Tip: UDL is a framework for designing, delivering and assessing curricula for the broadest possible range of users. The concept of UDL is based on three main principles: multiple means of representation (e.g., digitized text, video, podcasting), multiple means of engagement (i.e., providing options), and multiple means of expression (i.e., offering different ways to demonstrate learning). Implementing the principles of UDL in your teaching provides a flexible learning environment for all students and provides options for assessing student progress. There are many barriers to learning that can be removed by incorporating flexible methods to teaching and assessment.

The 21st century brought a new breed of learner into our classrooms. The majority of students in our classroom today were born and raised in a digital world. It is imperative that university educators embrace the strengths and weaknesses of today’s learners and provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate what they know in different ways.

Rad Resource: The Equity and Excellence Project at the University of Massachusetts, Boston was a three-year federally funded grant designed to ensure that students with disabilities received a quality higher education through refinement, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of the Universal Course Design (UCD) model.

The Equity & Excellence in Higher Education: Universal Course Design website contains a useful collection of resources, strategies, and tools including:

The site also includes over 30 tutorials for implementing the principles of UDL in your teaching.

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1 thought on “Nancy Aguinaga on The Assessment Aspect of Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education”

  1. thanks for the information. I had not heard of universal course design before but it makes great sense. On of my concerns at the secondary level is that there is not much focus on UDL and assessment delivery.

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