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Reflections on Implementing UDL in Low and High Stakes Activities

The Spring I high-stakes activity I created grew directly out of the Fall’s low-stakes activity, which was designed as a scaffolded assignment, and foundation, to assist students with their in-class mid-term essay. While the low-stakes activity was extremely effective in allowing students to locate, interpret, and analyze relevant direct quotations and paraphrases from the course text, the high-stakes assignment proved to be more challenging and time-consuming.

The high-stakes assignment required students to continue utilizing the comparison and contrast format, within their research essay assignments, to specify the major similarities and differences between the respective legacies of female civil rights activists, Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer, and the more widely-known civil rights icons, Malcolm X and Dr. King. All of the students readily identified sexism and gender discrimination as the principal obstacle to the afore-mentioned women’s notoriety; however, only one third of the students fully addressed more complex issues, such as differing philosophies of grassroots organization and intersectional approaches to encouraging mass political mobilization among women, people of color, and the working classes.

As it currently stands the research assignment is on Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer. In the near future, I plan to revise this research assignment so that it will include a preliminary low-stakes assignment on how these women’s organizing strategies included proto-intersectional objectives that foregrounded the need for unity among all people, regardless of race, sex, and class.

Revising the research assignment by including this low-stakes component will introduce students to critical race theory, as it relates to intersectionality, while also allowing them to begin their own analyses before drafting their high-stakes research essays.

 

Resources for Practicing Accessibility

Here are hands-on practices to use with word docs, pdfs, powerpoints and videos that will enable more people to access them, including, of course, students!-)

A key concept to keep in mind when formatting documents (and webpages) is to organize information using headings and subheadings. This crucial point not only makes a big difference for screen reader tools, it is also helpful for anyone reading the document.

Thanks to the Media Accessibility Project for developing these materials.

Full Manual with How-To’s
Creating Accessible Course Content Manual

Guideline Sheets
VIdeo Captioning 
PowerPoint

Microsoft Word
PDFs

 

Blogs/People to Follow (Part 1)

Margaret Price’s blog is always worth a read, for her latest presentations and published work on mental health, bodymind, teaching, and the academic environment.

CUNY’s own Andrew Lucchesi has maintained an excellent blog regarding his academic process sorting through studying and teaching with dis/abilities firmly in mind.

Accessible Classrooms is a resource-hub for accessibility tutorials for ensuring that the online resources (such as PDFs, images, and videos) we offer our students are physically accessible for more students.

The Ohio State University’s Composing Access site offers a great deal of advice regarding ensuring that your conference presentations (and by extension, your lectures) are more accessible, as well as general accessibility resources.

Disability Rhetoric is a blog that grew out of the Disability Studies Special Interest Group at CCCCs (the Conference on College Composition) in 2009, and houses a great deal of classroom-ready teaching resources, including syllabi.

 

 

UDL Across the Disciplines (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Note: This post comes with the disclaimer found elsewhere on the site. Much scholarship focusing on UDL currently does not adequately attend to the intersectional needs of students of color and the ways that racialized expectations in classrooms disproportionately limit the access that students of color have to classrooms (and thus, often, to structural adjustments to classrooms called for in UDL scholarship that makes race invisible, therefore coding itself white). There are some excellent readings critiquing the whiteness of dis/ability studies more broadly and UDL praxis specifically here in the General Must-Reads section.

This page from the brilliant Stephanie Kerschbaum offers phenomenal resources for dis/ability and the writing classroom.

Miksch, Karen L. “Universal Instructional Design in a Legal Studies Classroom.” Curriculum Transformation and Disability: Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2003): 163.

DeLong, Renee. “Writing Assignments and Universal Design for Instruction: Making the Phantom Visible.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 131.

James, Patricia, and Themina Kader. “Practicing Universal Instructional Design in Visual Art Courses.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 87.

Arendale, David, and David Ghere. “Teaching College History using Universal Instructional Design.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 113.

Chanock, Kate. “Towards Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Humanities: Alternatives to Writing.” Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 3 (2008): 19-32.

Johnson, Julia R. “Universal Instructional Design and Critical (Communication) Pedagogy: Strategies for Voice, Inclusion, and Social Justice/Change.” Equity & Excellence in Education 37.2 (2004): 145-153.

UDL Across the Disciplines (STEM-focused)

Note: This post comes with the disclaimer found elsewhere on the site. Most scholarship focusing on UDL currently does not adequately attend to the intersectional needs of students of color and the ways that racialized expectations in classrooms disproportionately limit the access that students of color have to classrooms (and thus, often, to structural adjustments to classrooms called for in UDL scholarship that makes race invisible, therefore coding itself white). There are some excellent readings critiquing the whiteness of dis/ability studies more broadly and UDL praxis specifically here in the General Must-Reads section.

Lid, Inger Marie. “Universal Design and Disability: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Disability and Rehabilitation 36.16 (2014): 1344-1349.

Howard, Kirsten Lee. “Universal Design for Learning: Meeting the Needs of All Students. In the Curriculum–Multidisciplinary.” Learning & Leading with Technology 31.5 (2004): 26-29.

Higbee, Jeanne L. “Implementing Universal Instructional Design in Postsecondary Courses and Curricula.” Journal of College Teaching and Learning 6.8 (2009): 65.

McGuire, Joan M. “Universally Accessible Instruction: Oxymoron or Opportunity?.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 27.4 (2014): 387-398.

Ngubane-Mokiwa, Sindile, and Simon Bheki Khoza. “Lecturers’ Experiences of Teaching STEM to Students with Disabilities.” Journal of Learning for Development-JL4D 3.1 (2016).

Bellman, Scott, Sheryl Burgstahler, and Penny Hinke. “Academic Coaching: Outcomes from a Pilot Group of Postsecondary STEM Students with Disabilities.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 28.1 (2015): 103-108.

Sukhai, Mahadeo A., and Chelsea E. Mohler. Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences. Academic Press, 2016.

Basham, James D., and Matthew T. Marino. “Understanding STEM Education and Supporting Students through Universal Design for Learning.” Teaching Exceptional Children 45.4 (2013): 8-15.

Kurtts, Stephanie A., Catherine E. Matthews, and Tammy Smallwood. “(Dis) solving the Differences: A Physical Science Lesson using Universal Design.” Intervention in School and Clinic 44.3 (2009): 151-159.

Curry, Cynthia, Libby Cohen, and Nancy Lightbody. “Universal Design in Science Learning.” The Science Teacher 73.3 (2006): 32.

Higbee, Jeanne L., Carl J. Chung, and Leonardo Hsu. “Enhancing the Inclusiveness of First-year Courses through Universal Instructional Design.” Pedagogy and Student Services for Institutional Transformation: Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 61-77.

Street, Christine Duden, et al. “Expanding Access to STEM for At-Risk Learners: A New Application of Universal Design for Instruction.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 25.4 (2012): 363-375.

McDaniel, Nancy. “Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in a College Chemistry Lab Course.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 11.1 (1994): 20-28.

Kortering, Larry J., Terry W. McClannon, and Patricia M. Braziel. “Universal Design for Learning: A Look at what Algebra and Biology Students with and without High Incidence Conditions are Saying.” Remedial and Special Education 29.6 (2008): 352-363.

Cliffe, Emma. “Accessibility of Mathematical Resources: The Technology Gap.” MSOR Connections 9.4 (2009): 37-42.

King-Sears, Margaret E., et al. “An Exploratory Study of Universal Design for Teaching Chemistry to Students with and without Disabilities.” Learning Disability Quarterly 38.2 (2015): 84-96.

Marino, Matthew T., et al. “Enhancing Secondary Science Content Accessibility With Video Games.” TEACHING Exceptional Children 47.1 (2014): 27-34.

Duquaine-Watson, J. M. “Computing Technologies, The Digital Divide, and “Universal” Instructional Methods.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 437.

Kinney, D. Patrick, and Laura Smith Kinney. “Computer-Mediated Learning in Mathematics and Universal Instructional Design.” Curriculum Transformation and Disability: Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2003): 115-125.

Brothen, Thomas, and Cathrine Wambach. “Universal Instructional Design in a Computer-based Psychology Course.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 165.

Duranczyk, Irene M., and Annia K. Fayon. “Successful Undergraduate Mathematics through Universal Design of Essential Course Components, Pedagogy, and Assessment.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 137.

 

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