Universal Instructional Design (UID)

Universal Instructional Design is an approach to teaching that consists of the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional and evaluation strategies. This approach provides academic access to a broad range of learners, including students with disabilities, while:

  • maintaining academic standards
  • maintaining your autonomy as designer of your course
  • reducing the need to having to retrofit after a course is already underway

Eight case stories highlight how faculty are using universal design to reach more of their students.

  • Would students have difficulties accessing courses materials or participating in any essential activities related to this class?
  • Are there major areas of confusion or inconsistency among course objectives, your expectation and/or how the course is presented?
  • Does the course offer enough choices in how it is presented so that a student could, to a certain extent, approach the course in a way that suited their needs and abilities?
  • Are there obstacles to receiving or understanding the information and resources needed in this course?
  • Do students feel respected as persons, welcome to express their thoughts and able to explore new ideas in this course?
  • While students participate in this course, are there physical challenges or obstacles that could be avoided?
  • Are there any materials or activities in this course that might be inappropriate or unsuitable for your students?

Source: Paul Menton Centre, Carleton University