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Universal design syllabus as learning tool

One of three slides sets from a workshop on Universal Design for Learning. Other slidesets focus on creating presentation slides and enacting accessible discussions.

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Universal design syllabus as learning tool

  1. 1. + UNIVERSAL COURSE DESIGN: Slideset #3 Your Course Syllabus as an “Accessible Learning Tool
  2. 2. + Develop a Scannable Document  Organization by Design  Be deliberate about font choice, point size, white space & parallel construction of elements.  Cue by key words to move students through the syllabus and set learning tone/climate.  Align images and text for visual and conceptual congruency.  Blind/low vision learners and learners with various disabilities will need alternative text.  First write your syllabus in a traditional word doc format.  Provide an electronic copy of syllabus / course materials.  Tables, figures, images require descriptions: alt text.  Let students know where to find descriptions of images.  Essential elements need to be clearly identified.  Standard scanners read single columns of text. Appearance – How it Reads Format – How it Scans
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  5. 5. + Develop a Learning Syllabus Send a “Welcome” email to the class before you meet: * Introduce yourself; incorporating a video is a good idea. * Name required books/supplies and places to find them. * Provide “how to get started” information for technology tools. “Unlock” your syllabus: * Share an electronic syllabus students can rearrange. * Organize a learning syllabus with outcomes keyed to assignments, classroom climate linked to course policy, and all aligned to clear grading criteria & assignment timelines. Provide a learning context for university and course policies For example, with a plagiarism policy: * Acknowledge students will need to build communication skills. * Address academic integrity concept rather than just list rules. * Acknowledge that no one is a native speaker of “academic."

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