Universal Design Learning and more!
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Chantier 3 Project
Usually the switch from traditional teaching to UDL principles takes place when there is a perceived need. Usually when we design learning environments, we design them for the "average learner". However, the "average learner" is a myth.
Many of our students come to us after being unsuccessful in other institutions, and some simply come because they learn differently and they need a different environment in order to be successful.
The principles of universal design provide a way for us to transform and reshape the educational environment to make it as accessible as possible for everyone-not just students with disabilities.
The CHANTIER 3 Project is a collaborative endeavor between 5 post-secondary Montreal
institutions. This project is funded by the Quebec government and will span three years from
December 2013 until December 2016.
The two main goals of the project are to understand the facilitators and stressors that faculty experience in implementing UDL into their pedagogy, and the second goal is a creation of an online bilingual accessible tool kit that will support faculty to use Universal Design for Learning in their pedagogy and in the development of their curriculum.
The implementation of the UDL principles in the classroom is a process and it does take time. However, each small change can make a difference in the students' outcomes. And at John Abbott we had more than 105 countries represented there and Universal Design can speak to those students by helping the teachers have various means of teaching methods that will address cultural diversity, that will address different learning styles, that will address learning disabilities.
Our teachers use Universal Design in order to provide students with multiple means of representing the content that they're teaching in their classrooms, they use UDL in order to find alternative ways of assessing student understanding, and also alternative ways of engaging students in the classroom through diverse instructional strategies.
The result of the CHANTIER 3 research project will be an online tool kit which will respond to the individual needs and priorities of faculty members and course instructors in post-secondary settings.