Teach to Reach: Maximizing Learning for All Students
A collaboration between the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Student Disability Resources, World Campus, and the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), this non-credit course is open to faculty of any rank or status, teaching assistants, and post-doctoral instructors from all disciplines and members of the learning design community.
In Spring 2019, this free, non-credit, and entirely asynchronous online course begins on March 11 and ends on April 7. Enrollment is limited to 20 participants.
In the built environment, Universal Design enables each of us to gain unimpeded access to a particular place, whether or not we require some form of accommodation. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) applies a similar set of brain-based, research-backed principles to learning environments, regardless of their format or structure, enabling all students to have multiple ways to engage with course content. The course includes 3 pre-recorded presentations by Allison Posey, CAST Curriculum and Design Specialist, and discussion and practice based on information drawn from teaching and learning literature on UDL, as well as from the experiences of individual participants. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to identify, select, and apply UDL principles that are appropriate to their individual courses. Participants may be invited to submit the results of their course work as exemplars for inclusion at SITE’s Tools & Resources page.
Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:
- define and apply UDL principles in course or lesson design and planning;
- integrate UDL teaching and assessment strategies that enhance student learning;
- locate resources on UDL principles available at Penn State and elsewhere; and
- contribute to a repository of UDL exemplars for use by other Penn State faculty.
Course topics include UDL principles; the current brain science around the interaction of emotion and cognition; strategies for designing learning experiences for engagement; and techniques to help students become persistent, self-regulated learners. Note that these topics may be revised slightly if necessary to meet the needs of the course participants.
Course Structure and Assignments
The course is broken into four online modules conducted in Canvas, each of which may take up to three hours to complete for a potential total of 12 contact hours. The primary course methods include hands-on, individual activities specific to each participant’s teaching context; online discussions, and group activities; and videos and pre-recorded webinars. This format will provide a structured but flexible atmosphere for the exchange of ideas on issues related to UDL and student learning.
SITE awards a completion certificate to participants who participate in all online activities and weekly discussions and successfully complete one certificate assignment (one UDL-inspired class activity or course module with a corresponding assessment tool). While this course does not serve as a formal, credit-bearing certification process, it does provide you with documentation of your participation it. This certificate may be included in your teaching portfolio or annual review as evidence of your professional development.
Dr. Posey works with educators to integrate and apply current understandings from brain research about learning into instructional practices so that all learners are able to access, integrate, and become expert learners. She also coordinates CAST's free webinar series, free resources, and focuses on the central role of emotions in learning. Posey received a degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and worked there as a teaching fellow for courses such as Educational Neuroscience and Framing Scientific Research for Public Understanding. She also holds a Certificate in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute of Art.
Keith Jervis, director, Student Disability Resources
Gina Pazzaglia, director, MPS Program in Nutritional Sciences & associate teaching professor
Mary Ann Tobin, assistant research professor & instructional consultant, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
Sonya Woods, accessibility consultant, World Campus