Browsing by Author "Hildebrandt, Shawn"
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- ItemFaculty perspectives on UDL: exploring bridges and barriers for broader adoption in higher education(2022) Hills, Melissa; Overend, Alissa; Hildebrandt, ShawnUniversal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies aim to reduce learning barriers in the classroom for all students and remove the need for students with disabilities to advocate on their own behalf. Leadership in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has a role to play in advancing inclusive learning cultures in higher education. At the frontline of higher education delivery, faculty are best positioned to implement UDL practices. Initiatives to encourage broader implementation of UDL require an understanding of the barriers and opportunities in higher education. Published studies that investigate faculty understanding and implementation of UDL have been almost exclusively conducted in US institutions. Our study enriches the existing literature through a mixed methods approach withinterviews and a faculty survey in a Canadian context. Themes revealed in our interviews were reinforced by survey findings. Many of the issues raised by faculty, including time and resource constraints, a lack of institutional support, and a lack of understanding are consistent with previous research done in the US, highlighting the systemic challenges for UDL implementation in higher education. To conclude, we explore the limits of a strictly bottom-up approach and contend, in line with recent studies, that top-down initiatives are also vital to encouraging broader implementation of UDL practices.
- ItemUniversal design at MacEwan(2020) Hildebrandt, Shawn; Hills, Melissa; Overend, AlissaThis executive summary reports on highlights and thematic takeaways from interviews conducted at MacEwan University over July and August of 2019 on the subject of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL differs from the system of accommodation for students with disabilities as it exists now. In the system of accommodation, supports like alternative textbook formats and time and a half for exam writing are given to a particular student in order to support them in the learning environment. Whereas in UDL, the learning environment itself is changed to fit all students, and all of the learning supports that exist as accommodation are extended to everyone’s access if they need it. And so the accommodation system is a part of UDL, is included within it, but does not map on to it entirely. We interviewed 9 people who work in an administrative capacity at MacEwan in a variety of roles relevant to the discussion of student learning. Some of the participants also work as faculty in a teaching capacity or have worked as faculty during some part of their careers. The main theme arising from the interviews is the lack of an overarching, institutionally-guided UDL framework at MacEwan. Conditioned from the main theme, arose the following subthemes: the inconsistent understanding of UDL amongst both faculty and staff; the attitudes of students with existing accommodations as a barrier to UDL; the ambiguity of what UDL means for mental health issues; and the necessity of UDL “champions” to promote UDL.