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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

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CPD - the Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning

As part of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning's open access digital badge initiative, AHEAD and UCD Access & Lifelong Learning have teamed up to create the digital badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning.

In short, we've designed instructions and learning materials for a short introductory professional development course on universal design for learning and in partnership with the Forum, we are making these materials freely available to institutions interested in rolling it out locally by volunteer course facilitators. We provide the learning materials, the institution provides the staff time and admin to roll it out. The course takes a blended approach and requires about 25 hours of learner effort in total. Every participant who completes the course will receive the Forum's digital badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning. 

 How is the course structured?

For the digital badge for Universal Design in Teaching & Learning course, we've taken a blended approach. The course has three key elements:

1. Online module introducing the concept of Universal Design for Learning

  • Examining diversity on campus
  • Student views on teaching & Learning
  • Intro to UDL – framework and guidelines
  • Self reflection on current practice
  • Additional Recommended Reading – 3 Hours

2. Group workshop examining current barriers for students and how UDL principles can address them

  • Recap on UDL
  • Explore academic demands we place on students and how different types of students may struggle
  • Explore current teaching & learning practice
  • Examine How UDL can Help

3. Assignment: Evaluation and redesign of current practice and reporting on their redesign experiences in a case study format (written or video)

  • Select Module
  • Review past student evaluations
  • Redesign at least one aspect of the module using UDL principles (e.g. assessment, teaching materials, classroom resources, student activities etc.)
  • Implement and deliver
  • Undertake new student evaluation to determine success
  • Produce a Case Study Report (written or video) on the process of the redesign and implementation

 What kind of learning materials do you provide for Course Facilitators?

As a course facilitator, we provide you all the elements you need to deliver the course including:

1. Online Course

  • LMS eLearning package compatible with Blackboard/Moodle etc.
  • Template welcome emails
  • Recommended Reading Materials
  • Course Facilitator Instructions

2. Group Workshop

  • Detailed workshop plan
  • All required learning materials (e.g. slides) and associated notes
  • Course Facilitator Instructions

3. Final Assignment

  • Assignment briefs
  • Course Facilitator instructions

 What are the main tasks of the Course Facilitator?

As a Course Facilitator, your key tasks include:

1. Online Course

  • Organising Upload to LMS (moodle blackboard) in conjunction with your eLearning department
  • Signing up students to course on your LMS in conjunction with your eLearning department
  • Sending Welcome Emails etc.

2. Group Workshop

  • Organising a room and notifying participants
  • Printing/distributing materials
  • Facilitating the session/organising another facilitator

3. Final Assignment

  • Disseminating briefs and collecting/assessing finished assignments
  • Sharing completed case studies on campus (see UCD book)
  • Distributing digital badges

Other Key Tasks

  • Fixing course schedule (recommended plan provided)
  • Recruiting participants on campus
  • Course administration and communications

 What is a digital badge?

Any organisation can issue digital badges as a recognition for work achieved or skills acquired – think of them as the certificate of the future. Unlike ordinary certificates however, digital badges come with a weight of other useful information such as a descriptor of the badge, a set of criteria met in order to receive the badge and in some cases, links to evidence of how the criteria has been met (e.g. an actual course assignment). Digital badges are collected by individuals in a personal digital backpack, which acts as a visual record of the person’s learning journey. Watch the video below for more detailed info on what a digital badge is!

 Do I need to be a UDL expert to run this course in my institution?

No. You need to have some base knowledge around UDL but we've designed the course so that really all you need to be a course facilitator is enthusiasm, commitment and some time for the administrative side of it! We recommend that the Disability/Access service and the Teaching and Learning department partner up to deliver this course - there's strength in numbers and it will give your course greater reach. All facilitators should go through all aspects of the course thoroughly before delivering it. 

 I want to deliver this course - how do I get started?

The full course facilitators package is available from the website of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. Just download it from there and start to sift through the materials and instructions we've provided. To be in a position to issue the Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching and Learning to your participants, you must liaise with the Forum and you will have to submit a ‘Declaration of Eligibility’ form provided by them.

Go to the Forum's digital badge page and get the facilitator's package>>

Digital Badge Partners - AHEAD, UCD Access and Lifelong Learning and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

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