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Five Ways to Incorporate Universal Design for Learning into Your Online Course

Introduction What if someone told you that there were research-proven techniques you could use to improve your online class for all students, increasing retention, persistence, and satisfaction by more than 4% over the baseline? I’m sure you’d be skeptical. Students differ so significantly from each other and from quarter to quarter; how can any instructor anticipate the individual needs of every student? Universal Design for Learning is a great place to start. What is Universal Design for Learning? At its core, Universal Design for Learning is a flexible, research-based pedagogical framework that aims to develop curriculum that meets the needs


Learning to Change: ICCHE-ACHE Conference Recap

On February 8, 2018, I attended and presented at this year’s ICCHE-ACHE Great Lakes Joint Conference. The conference theme was Learning to Change, and many of the presentations focused on the necessity and challenge of change, especially in professional/continuing education. I was also lucky enough to present on accessibility in online education and shared the story of our office’s continuing growth in this area. Keynote: Change Management and Conscious Competence The conference began with a keynote by Carolyn Nordstrom, the Vice President of Faculty and Academic Resources at Kaplan University. Drawing upon her decades of experience in teaching and higher


All You Need is an Oven and a Knife

A few holiday seasons ago, I received a great gift – the Pizzazz Rotating Pizza Oven! I came back to work after the holiday singing its praises and immediately began convincing all of my coworkers to purchase one.  My spirits were quickly dampened when one of my coworkers asked, “Does it do the same thing as my oven?” I stared blankly at him as he continued, “all of these different kitchen gadgets…they all do the same thing as an oven or a knife. All you need is an oven and a knife. Everything else just takes up too much room


Student Video Assignments

In our recent blog entry Make It Stick!, we discussed strategies for helping students move newly learned information into long-term memory. Of the strategies discussed, Practice Getting It Out vs. Getting It In stands out as an opportunity not only for students to generate knowledge by teaching concepts to peers that demonstrate their understanding of learned content, but also as a vehicle for creating variety in the types of assignments we design. In a typical course design, faculty will have their students participate in traditional assignments, which can include quizzes, paper writing, and discussions, to demonstrate their knowledge of concepts,


Focus on Teaching and Learning Highlights Active Learning

Several members of the Distance Learning Team at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies attended Loyola’s Focus on Teaching and Learning (FOTL), a one day conference on January 10, 2018 at Schreiber Hall in Chicago. The Keynote address, delivered by Dr. Therese Hutton of Seattle University, was entitled, “If I Could Only Fit in More Learning:” Making the Most of Your Classroom Time. According to Dr. Hutton, teaching is akin to storytelling in many ways, and the traditional lecture, whether online or on-ground, is often more storytelling than lecture. In fact, according to Hutton, lectures have been making something of a