We've teamed up with Think UDL to bring you podcast episodes centred around designing and implementing strategies in post-secondary settings, with learner variability in mind.
Chrisitina Moore is the Associate Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Christina has been on the podcast once before to talk about Online Faculty Learning Communities on Episode 38, and she is back on the podcast to talk with me about her book Mobile-Mindful Teaching and Learning: Harnessing the Technology That Students Use Most. In today’s episode, we discuss how learners interface with materials, instructors, and each other through mobile devices, define characteristics of fluid learning and talk about learning ecologies and how they are all important steps to understanding mobile-mindful teaching and learning. We talk about creating ecosystems for learning and how to encourage social learning through well-designed learning environments. Christina is full of ideas to take away barriers for students by using the technology they have right at their fingertips.
Joanne Ricevuto is the Assistant Vice President of Instructional Success at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and Laura McLaughlin is the Director of Graduate Education at Neumann University in Aston, PA. Together they have co-authored the bookEngaging Virtual Environments: Creative Ideas and Online Tools to Promote Student Interaction, Participation, and Active Learningpublished by Stylus Publishing. Laura and Joanne have put together a jam-packed resource for online instructors that discusses the many roles an online instructor must take on to lead an effective course. They also offer multiple ways to interact with students in synchronous and asynchronous settings. I have already enjoyed this book so much and I was honored to be asked to write the foreword for it. Join today’s thoughtful conversation and learn about multiple ways to engage your students online!
James McKenna is a speaker, learning consultant and author of the just released bookUpskill, Reskill, Thrive: Optimizing Learning and Development in the Workplacepublished by CAST professional publishing, the very same people who brought us the UDL guidelines! In this conversation, James draws from his varied background in the military, education, and professional learning to outline a new approach to learning and development. No more staff training where everyone blindly clicks through choices without even thinking! We delve into learning in the modern world, and who our contemporary learners are. He explains how to create emotional, intellectual, and strategic connections for your learners and why it is important and even discusses the difference between friction and rigor.
Tim Van Norman is an Instructional Technologist at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California, which is part of the California Community Colleges system. He also hosts his very own podcast called The Higher Ed Tech podcast. Today, he will be discussing his personal views on instructional design and educational technology which are not associated with or speak for Irvine Valley College. In today’s episode, we talk about not just how students learn but where they learn, how we should think about deadlines, especially in relationship to one’s Learning Management system, where the work should be put in to improve a course (will it be early or later and how much), and what are his suggestions for engaging educational technology for online and in-person learning.
Eric Moore is the Director of Learning Technology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD. He is also the founder and owner of Innospire Education Consulting through which he consults with organizations on UDL, instructional design, and accessibility. Eric also was my very first guest on the Think UDL podcast back in 2018. And as this, the 100th episode was approaching, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind talking with me again about the state of UDL and how it has progressed and changed in higher education since our first conversation. And since we have been working on an article with some esteemed colleagues on various critiques of UDL, we thought it would be a needed conversation for the public to hear. So in this episode, we will discuss the various critiques we have heard as UDL practitioners in higher education over the last 5 years and offer some answers along with some further discussion in a way that seeks to further strengthen UDL in higher education and beyond.
After over ten years working as an Assistive Technology and Accommodations Specialist in Disability Resource Offices at various higher ed institutions, Rachel Kruzel is now the Higher Education Specialist at TextHelp where she supports colleges and universities to implement accessibility based solutions to help create more inclusive, equitable, and accessible learning environments for all students. During her time in higher ed, she built and developed assistive technology programs at both schools she worked at, as well as coordinated the provision of accommodations. Rachel is a national expert in the areas of assistive technology, digital accessibility, accessible course materials, and accommodation provision around testing and notetaking. In this episode, we discuss how technology helps, hinders, and relates to access, inclusion and belonging. We discuss a culture of collaboration on campus and how technology can be a catalyst for change on a campus that values diversity, accessibility, and inclusion.
Reba Wissner is an Assistant Professor of Musicology in the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. Reba recently presented at a musicology conference about her UDL interventions in her college music courses and I had heard of what she is doing through another professional organization, so I was very excited to connect with her on this topic. In today’s conversation, Reba and I discuss not only the “what” of multiple means of representation when it comes to music education courses, but also why we need to do this right now, and how to do this. And don’t worry if you aren’t in the music department, we also talk about the ideas surrounding this and offer some great ideas if you are interested in diversifying your course! The resources we mention can be found on the ThinkUDL.org website for episode 98.
Mark Nichols is the Senior Director of Universal Design and Accessible Technologies at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Mark’s team has had great success in implementing accessible learning materials campus-wide with the help of many offices and fellow advocates on campus. In today’s conversation, we will talk about how to create a culture of accessibility, how he has been able to improve and think systematically about accessible materials at his university, and the various tools, ideas, and programs Virginia Tech is employing to help students achieve their goals and succeed in their academic pursuits. Mark mentions Virginia Tech’s C. A. L. M. campaign which stands for Choose Accessible Learning Materials in which his team introduces a new accessibility idea periodically on campus with the slogan, “Keep C. A. L. M. and use accessible slides…” (or PDFs or some other tool). He would be happy to share the templates they used if anyone would like to borrow this campaign or learn more. Just reach out to Mark via email which is linked on our resources page for this episode at ThinkUDL.org.
Jeff Miller is the founder and CEO of Potentia, an organization that not only matches neurodivergent talent with companies, but also works with companies to make sure that the work environments are optimal for their neurodiverse employees, which means neurotypical and neurodistinct employees feel supported and comfortable in their workplace. In this conversation, we talk about why recruiting neurodistinct individuals is a good idea for both employee and employer, how to create an interview and onboarding process that lessens the barriers to hiring ND (neurodistinct) talent, what measures a company can take to create a favorable environment for all workers, including the neurodistinct ones, and how to support these processes. Along the way we talk about why he created this company and why it makes sense! In fact, there is a lot of talk about our “why”s in today’s conversation and it maps so seamlessly onto why UDL is so important in higher education and how the same principles are implemented in the workforce and benefit both workers and employers. We talk about why it is important to focus on your goal and how to do that, and Jeff outlines how Potentia enables companies to hire and retain fantastic candidates by creating an environment where all workers can thrive.
Dr. Subhadra Ganguli is an instructor in the Department of Economics, Ziegler College of Business, at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. She has had extensive experience teaching very practical workplace skills in finance and accounting globally and is now sharing her expertise in the United States. In this episode, we discuss how Subhadra has been implementing very engaging, collaborative learning in her classes. We also talk more about why math isn’t just an individual skill or subject. Additionally, we discuss the skills that economics, math and finance students will need once they graduate, and how Subhadra is building those skills in her classes for her students using the UDL principles.
Michele Rattigan and Denise Wolf are both Associate Clinical Professors of Art Therapy and Counseling in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies, College of Nursing and Health Professions, at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In this episode, Michele, Denise and I talk about the myth of perfectionism, teaching interventions to reach a variety of students (with an equally vast set of skills), what to do if you want to include art and creative expression in your classes as to expand your multiple means of expression options but aren’t an artist or an art therapist, how to face skill deficits with a lens of growth and renewal, and we even make a foray into questioning the system of making an art therapist.
This episode centers on the emergence and history of both Universal Design for Learning and the concept of Intersectionality. We will define these terms and discuss similarities and connections between the two, taking particular aim at what has been overlooked and what to do now. We will discuss why using both of these lenses matters in higher education today.
Carrie Ingersoll-Wood is the Director of the Disability Cultural Center at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. In this conversation, Carrie and I talk about what in fact a Disability Cultural Center is, and what it is not. It is not your university’s Office of Disability Services. It is very different. We also discuss a little about the history of Disability Cultural Centers, why they are important, what they do, how UDL figures into them, and why we need them in Higher Education now.