NWeLearn: Universal Design for Learning Practices and Ideas

These are my random notes from a conference session. The usual caveats apply: any disorganization is based on my own interests and abilities, not the presenters. Contents may settle in shipping.


We will introduce the basic concepts of Universal Design for Learning and explain the value and impact it can have for you and your students. We will also demonstrate how you as an instructor can start incorporating UDL into your classroom, and the many resources that can help you on your journey. This session will also engage in audience participation and create an online resource list based on session contribution.


Dr. Michael H Murphy
Director for eLearning and Academic Technology, Central Oregon Community College
Dr. Michael H. Murphy is the Director for eLearning and Academic Technology at Central Oregon Community College (COCC). Prior to working at COCC, he was the coordinator for the Masters Programs and Associate Professor at Lander University in South Carolina.

Kristine Roshau
Instructional Systems Specialist, Central Oregon Community College
LMS Administration, Instructional Design, Faculty Training, Universal Design for Learning, Accessibility

Yasuko Jackson
Instructional Design Specialist, Central Oregon Community College

Jamie Rougeux
Coordinator for Disability Resources, Central Oregon Community College


Jamie Rougeux talked about her work in Disability Services and the connection to elearning. They were acting reactively to accommodations. We can create a broader curriculum that will target individuals with different needs.

Goals for Today: a basic undersantding of UDL, components of UDL based instruction, assessing your own curriculum, and available resources.

CAST – UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals. Dr. Murphy discussed the history of UDL.

A discussion of the three brain networks: Affective, Recognition, and Strategic networks in the brain. The what, why

Methods of assessment should not always be in the same mode. Students need opportunities for choice. How do we connect lessons to learning objectives. Every lesson should be connected to every objective.

UDL uses a lot of project learning. Students are asked to apply their work to real life situations.

Differentiated instruction means how you can make the work relevant. Collaboration, reflection, multimodal assessments.


  1. Choose one activity or lesson you are comfortable with,
  2. Identify which principle the lesson addresses
  3. Research ideas based on the resources based on the end of the presentation
  4. Compare your changes with your course competencies. Are they still being met?
  5. Try it out and evaluate. How did your students do? Ask for feedback.

There is a lot of open pedagogy here in this vision of UDL.  What are the true objectives of the course versus just the things that you think college students need to know or do. She claimed that we need to seperate the learning and communication skills from the subject matter.

Again with the objectives…

What is in your toolkit?

  • Ally
  • Readspeaker
  • Kaltura
  • Zoom
  • Captionsync

Their three primary tools are:

  1. Blackboard ALLY is an integrated tool to raise awareness on accessible materials.
  2. ReadSpeaker is a text to speech tool. It has a suite of tools that assist readers with learning disabilities.
  3. Kaltura Media (storage) and CaptureSpace (the utility). Automated closed captions. This is like Panopto.

Explore the National Center on Universal Design for Learning


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