The profile of learners is ever-changing. Each student approaches, understands, and solves concepts differently. By anticipating and planning for learner variability, faculty, teachers, and students embrace their greatest strength: diversity. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that improves and enhances teaching and learning. The vision is to proactively design educational environments that are inclusive, accessible, and flexible for all learners. In order to optimize the design and delivery of course instruction, UDL focuses on providing multiple, flexible methods of representation, expression, and engagement.

While the UDL framework emphasizes accessibility for a diverse learner population, this flexibility with respect to how course material is displayed or delivered can also be found in Accessible Educational Materials (AEM). AEM highlights print or technology-based educational content that is designed to be usable and understandable across learner variability, regardless of format.

The purpose of this video project is to bring awareness to the benefits of implementing the UDL framework and ensuring materials are accessible at Virginia Tech. Our team filmed and created an eight-minute video that includes graphics and various testimonials from Carolyn Shivers, Alicia Johnson, Rachel Mirsen, and Nevada Kershner. The video will also include closed captioning to increase accessibility. To reflect upon how course instruction and delivery address learner variability and preferences, the video introduces the concept of UDL and AEM, presents testimonials, highlights statistics, and presents a call to action for faculty to enroll in an online professional development course on UDL in higher education. Faculty can find this UDL course on the Technology-Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) Professional Development website to learn more about accessibility best practices.

Throughout the semester, the team researched the application of the UDL framework and AEM in higher education, designed a storyboard for initial video concepts, created informational graphics, and developed a script that included narration, transitions, and interview questions. Furthermore, the team contacted multiple assistant professors and teaching assistants in order to hear their perspectives. The team filmed and edited interview footage, adding in proper transitions and detailed illustrations to deliver a promotional and information video about accessibility best practices at Virginia Tech. This video targets faculty members, encouraging them to incorporate UDL strategies into their course design and delivery. The Accessible Technologies Team at Virginia Tech can utilize this video to convey to faculty the value of Universal Design for Learning to support learner variability.



Universal Design for Learning, UDL, Accessible Education Materials, AEM, Learning Disability, Learning Disabilities