Teaching diverse students through Universal Design for Learning

by: Dr. Shelley Kinash

This presentation is an introduction to universal design for learning (UDL) in higher education. The principles of UDL are explained as a means of teaching diverse students, including students with disabling conditions and international students from non-English speaking backgrounds. The lecture explains the three main UDL principles of multiple means of representation, engagement and expression. In addition, the presentation describes and applies Edyburn’s ten propositions of UDL…Video link


Disability in a digital world: Do assistive technologies still matter?

by: Dr. Shelley Kinash

“I commenced my first job with disabled people in 1983. I was an Institutional Aide in a residence for adults with severe cognitive impairments. In the institution, there was a woman in her thirties who could not voluntarily move any part of her body, other than her face and neck. It was assumed that she was profoundly cognitively impaired. She received minimal educational and/or intellectual stimulation. Just before I was hired, she had been fitted with a head-pointer device that enabled her to eat independently by pointing at the desired food, after which a mechanized spoon would scoop and feed. She could also communicate using…” Full Article

Kinash, S. (in press). Disability in a digital world: Do assistive technologies still matter. In G. Kopp & S. Crichton (Eds.) Technology enabled learning environments. Oak Park, IL: Bentham Science.

Universal Instructional Design Principles for Mobile Learning

by: Tanya Elias

This report extends a previous analysis of universal instructional design principles in distance education, by applying them to the design of mobile learning. Eight principles with particular relevance for distance education are selected, and their recommendations are discussed in relation to the design of educational materials for a range of mobile devices. The problems and opportunities of mobile learning are discussed, and the need for educators to focus on its content
design issues rather than on searching for… Full article

Elias, T. (2011). Universal instructional design principles for mobile learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(2), 144-156.

Universal Design for Learning in Postsecondary Education: Reflections on Principles and their Application

by: Dr. David Rose

“Universal design, although well established in architecture and other domains, is relatively new to K-12 education and even newer to higher education. Universal design involves designing products, buildings, or environments so they can be used readily by the widest possible range of users. Although, this concept of universal design is now familiar to many educators, its application in education lags far behind its application in the built environment. We believe this lag reflects an important reality: The idea of universal design transfers readily from the built environment to the learning environment, but…” Read more

Rose, D. H. (2006). Universal design for learning in postsecondary education: Reflections on principles and their application. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 19(2), 135-151.

New Generation of What?

by: Dr. Shelley Kinash

At a recent faculty meeting, debate raged over two topics: student use of laptops and video recording of lectures. On one side of the debate, lecturers tell students to shut their laptops and put them away because, in their experience, students using mobile devices are on social networking sites, emailing or playing games rather than attending to the lecture. Opposing academics actively encourage students to…Read more

It’s Mobile, But Is It Learning?

by: Dr. Shelley Kinash

Mobile learning is defined as a portable process of teaching and study using internet connected devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones. The two defining features of mobile learning are represented in the words of the term. Mobile learning unleashes educational technology from the computer and the LCD projector on the teacher’s desk and allows students of all levels to have their resources available at all times whether at home or school. The second feature is that the devices are put to use for educational purposes. Mobile learning was on the periphery of…Read more

Breaking the log-jam: Teaching the teachers about technology

by: Dr. Shelley Kinash & Ron Kordyban

“Like logs in a metaphoric lumber mill, educational technologies are streaming in faster than they can be gathered and processed. There are wikis, blogs,podcasts, social networks and a host of applications to complement the already robust world of mobile learning. Where things tend to get jammed-up is at the point of training. Someone needs to show teachers how and when to use these new e-learning tools. More and more schools and universities are hiring dedicated educators to provide professional development in the pedagogical use of educational technologies. However…