Can One Size Really Fit All? Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) To Teach Information Literacy Skills
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In the last twenty years colleges and universities in the United States actively recruited diverse bodies students with different ethnicities, cultures, abilities and learning styles. Teaching faculty are facing the challenges to shift their educational practices to more inclusive teaching and learning models. One such model is the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) theory which is relatively new within the field of post-secondary education and librarianship. Applying this theory to online instructional design can expedite the needed shifts in faculty’s teaching practices in order to accommodate various learning styles of students. In this presentation, we will discuss our collaboration with faculty in tailoring library instruction around three principles from the UDL which served as a successful approach to design and develop library modules in University’s Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) that are effective and inclusive for all learners. A research tutorial for students in the School of Public Health was created in ELMS to teach research and information literacy skills. Each module within the tutorial included a quiz to assess students’ learning. Evidence from students’ final research papers and faculty’s feedback on students’ research performance showed that although this tutorial included some aspects of UDL, it did not fully take advantage of what the framework had to offer. Taken on this challenge for improving student’s learning, the librarian for the College of Education adopted the tutorial and began to build in elements of UDL. This presentation will include an overview of the initial creation of the tutorial for the School of Public Health, and will discuss how the tutorial was repurposed for the College of Education to fully adopt the theoretical framework of UDL.