Universal design is a process that ensures that a newly created product is useful to the broadest array of people. Applied to assessment in higher education, universal design would mean that all students would have a better opportunity to express what they know by using their preferred methods for receiving and expressing information.
On May 20-21, 2009 UW-Parkside launched a two-day Universal Design pilot: Universal Design in Education: The Basics and Beyond. Its purpose was to help participants incorporate universal design principles into their course materials, focusing in particular on assessment. In the workshop sessions participants modified course syllabi and assessment practices for a Fall 09 course. In follow up sessions during Fall 09, participants will come together to review and reflect upon the impact of these changes.
The Universal Design Workshop was facilitated by Professor Dave Edyburn, Department of Special Education at UW-Milwaukee and Co-Principal Investigator of the Universal Design Infusion of Technology and Evaluator for Accessible Campuses of Higher Education (UDITEACH) Project and ACCESS-ED. Co-facilitators were Renee Kirby, Disability Services; Jim Robinson, Teaching/Learning Center; Eugene Fujimoto, Office of Equity & Diversity; and Christine Tutlewski, Department of Learning Assistance, all of UW-Parkside.
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(Founded in 1866, Carleton College is a small, private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota offering 37 majors and 15 concentrations in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.)