Podcast: Universal Design

Published: Monday, April 25, 2022

Instructional Designers discuss how universal design can be applied to online learning and course design.

On today’s University of Arizona Futures in Digital Learning podcast we have a conversation about Universal Design. Join Adam Davi, Brian Hale, and Jessica Zeitler as they discuss how universal design can be applied to online learning and course design, share stories about their design experiences, and provide practical tips for applying universal design to your course. 

Speaker 1 (00:04): On today's University of Arizona Futures in Digital Learning Podcast. We have a conversation about universal design

Speaker 2 (00:11): Transferring the skills, you learn into your next class or into your job or into the real world is an important part of universal design.

Speaker 1 (00:19): Join Adam Davi, Brian Hale, and Jessica Zeitler as they discuss how universal design can be applied to online learning and course design share stories about their design experiences and provide practical tips for applying universal design to your course.

Adam (00:38): Welcome everybody to the, a digital download podcast. this is our first one first official one, I guess, for 2022. I am Adam Davi, a senior instructional designer at the Office of Digital Learning. And I'm here with my co-host

Brian (00:56): I'm Brian Hale an instructional designer in Digital Learning.

Adam (00:59): And we are an overjoyed to be joined today by Jessica Zeitler, an instructional designer in our office today to talk about universal design. So welcome Jessica.

Jessica (01:12): Thank you, Adam. I'm super excited to be here and looking forward to our conversation. Awesome.

Adam (01:17): Excellent. Well, we're just going to kick it off, you know, nice and big here, our audience, and let you as the expert in universal design just kind of tell us, what is it, what is universal design?

Jessica (01:32): I'm sure there's lots of definitions for universal design for learning. Some people call it a framework. Some people call it an approach. Often people say, oh, it's an to designing an approach to teaching students. And it, what it does is it offers our varied learners ways to connect with the material. For example, a diversity of options. It offers choice in learning where one assign, I meant, might say, oh, you can only write this. And if we really want to apply universal design for learning, we would say, well, we're not really assessing the writing. We're just looking for the response. So, giving the students choice to choose whether they're going to do a video recording or a written response, for example, or just a voice recording.

Brian (02:23): So know that makes me think of a question right off the top. How is UDL different or the same as the phrase scaffolding?

Jessica (02:36): Ooh, I, you know, I, I feel like, I feel like it would be very similar just because, well, and you can correct me if, if I'm wrong here, cuz I haven't thought too much about scaffolding. but when I think about scaffolding, I think about kind of chunking out learning. And so we're going from kind of small pieces and kind of building on those pieces. Right. And so, we're scaffolding a content topic. So it can go from, and we can think of blooms in this way too. Blooms taxonomy is we're going from like identify and, and then moving to maybe harder like discuss, explain or apply. So that's what I think when I think of scaffolding, right? When I think of UDL, I think they it's, it's actually broken down into three pieces, right? So we're looking at engagement. How are we engaging the students recruiting that interest representation?

Jessica (03:35): How are we allowing students to, how are, well, how are we representing them at material? Are we just representing it in one way, which might be a barrier for some students? For example, video, which has been a great adoption, especially during the pandemic, it has really grown, but are we only offering the video or are we adding the captions to it? So that like if I'm a mom and I'm a nursing, I'm a nursing student and I'm a mom and I'm doing all these things and I really want to do my homework, but the only time I have is while I'm driving my car on the way to work well, can I listen to that? Or am I in a busy situation coffee shop where I only want to read it. So offering that varied representation. And then the third is action and expression where faculty, as well as instructional designers.

Jessica (04:26): And we'll have to talk about the relationship between instructional designers and faculty, for sure in this, in this endeavor. Right. But thinking about action and expression and where faculty, as well as instructional designers really work to, to kind of guide, instead of being that Sage on the stage, being the guide on the side, as they say, and working to I would really say foster this, this choice for student voice, voice, and choice, right? So for students to be able to choose how they express themselves, for example, I'm, I'm a dyslexic and I didn't know that for a very long time. I have so many coping mechanisms. It's not even funny, but now learning is so fun for me because now I'm like, oh, they're going to let me do video where I get to talk. You know? whereas writing was so challenging. for me previous, you know, it took many years for me to really feel comfortable with it. But so that, that action and expression really allow the student to feel, kind of make, make it their own place. And I hope we talk about space in place too, at some point.

Brian (05:41): So it's actually universal design is actually something you can implement at every stage of the course. You don't just, it's not an umbrella. You don't just think, oh, I have this course. I'm going to make it universally designed. And I'm going to let students do some videos here and there. You actually think about it in each let's say module or each week of the course, you implement this universal design to allow students that freedom to express themselves. So it's not just a one and done, you have to constantly be thinking about it as you're designing your course. Yeah. There's all these words like scaffolding and framework. And now we're going to toss universal design in there. And some, sometimes all these terms we, we throw at instructors and instructional designers, you get bogged down in that. Wait, what is this thing that I have to put in my course? And so, it's, it's nice to understand that you do L is sort of, let's say we're building an ice cream Sunday. You know, what, what part of the ice cream Sunday is UDL can be whatever part you want it to be, right? Because it's, it's about our expression. And, and like you said, there are three areas of it, the engagement, representation, and expression. So it, it can be however we want to help our learners express their learning. And it's, I think it's great.

Adam (07:06): I think I'm going to go off of your, your little ice cream sundae metaphor here, Brian and perfect. You know, cuz I, it just got me thinking I'm like, as far as universal design is concerned with, with an ice cream Sunday, you know, as before you might say like everybody has to build an ice cream sundae and it has to have ice cream and hot fudge and nuts and whipped creams

Brian (07:28): And then, but wait, I don't like nuts,

Adam (07:30): Right. Or I'm allergic to nuts. Right? Like, and then, so it's like, well, why do I have to build, build that? Like that's not effective for me. Like that's not going to be good for me. So now universal design, you can say, all right, you have to build an ice cream sundae and it has to have ice cream cuz it's an ice cream sundae, but here are different options for ice cream. Right. Okay. Let's say you're lactose intolerant. Maybe we have a dairy free option that you can put in. Right. Or, you know, let's say you want, you want a, so or you want gelato set. Okay. And then you have this other menu of options that you, you can choose. You can choose to put nuts, you can choose to put whipped cream, you can choose to put cherries, you can choose to put caramel if you have, you know, the main structure of what it is.

Adam (08:13): And then, you know, that's what you submit and that's your kind of universal design. Am I, am I sort of on the right track there with what, what you're talking about as far as student choice and you know, so you're not excluding students? If they have, you know, a different ability like dyslexia or, you know, they have, you know, you something along those lines that that's going to make things difficult. You're kind of removing barriers is what I hear you saying and, and giving them choice to have some ownership over their own learning and their own ice cream.

Jessica (08:48): That, that is exactly what I'm saying. Yes. And, and one of the things that I, I, I love that you pointed out is, is, is that inclusive nature of it because in removing barriers, those things kind of, they overlapped, right? So as, as a faculty member myself, gosh, like one of the most important things I think about is I want my students to be able to engage in, in the class. And if there's, so if there's barriers that impacts their learning or their engagement, I definitely want to be able to remove, or at least lower the barriers if possible, you know, when that is an option. And so now as both a faculty and an instructional level designer, I think, okay. Like thinking about the, those course maps, like when we're designing the content for the course, this is a great time to think, you know, okay.

Jessica (09:43): So, this is what the learning objective, or, you know, this is what the outcome looks like. What am I really looking for in this assignment? And is there an option to offer more choice without overwhelming the faculty, for example, cuz you know, you also want to consider that I know faculty are so pressed for time and so working so hard. And so I definitely would, would like to say, you know, you don't have to sometimes thinking about choice too. You think about, and I give an example and I'm not critiquing this cheesecake factory at all, but you know, you look at the menu, I look at the cheesecake factory menu and it's so overwhelming, cuz there's so much choice. I'm like, I, I just don't even know what I want to eat now, but just having some choice, but not, you know, you don't have to have the full spectra but if you can offer some choice to allow students to be able to express themselves that's great. And, and then not too much so that the faculty doesn't feel overwhelmed with the grading process.

Brian (10:51): Yeah. Something that comes into my mind is what is the difference between inclusive and accessible? How do we approach that when, when we're talking about UDL,

Jessica (11:05): Those are all really, that's a really good question.

Brian (11:09): Can they be the same thing?

Jessica (11:12): Well, I think, you know, I, I worked on a project with Meg hunter at another university in the ID-to-ID group it's with Eli and, and we worked on UDL and we, we created this little bridge map and you're going to, we don't have a camera here. So, you're going to going to have to imagine kind of a Venn diagram. Right. And we really imagined D L is kind of a connector for these overlapping other topics like accessibility and equity and inclusion. So while they may not overlap a hundred percent, there is overlap. I would say UDL is like kind of the big circle. And then the smaller circles, you have equity and inclusion as well as accessibility, which both overlap each other as well on top of that UDL. And so, if you can imagine kind of those three circles in Venn diagram, kind of multiple layers there, but the point being is with UDL and I have a, a great story that happened this week as a, an awesome example. And I was just so happy. But with UDL, you have the opportunity to when you're offering choice, you're addressing excess and exclude inclusion elements as well. While I won't say that, you know, UDL connects with all of Excel, accessibility concerns cuz of the variability of learners. Right. But it addresses a lot and, and that, and that's really helpful. I tell you my story

Adam (12:54): Please. Yes.

Jessica (12:55): Okay. I'm working with this wonderful faculty member in medicine and I kind of made it a, a nonnegotiable when we started talking, he's like, I'm going to do a lot of videos and I'm like, okay. As long as we can get them in on time, cuz we really want to get these captions. And, and he was like, yeah. Okay. Okay. Sometimes we've been a little pressed for time, but we, he had 52 videos. Okay. It's a lot of videos, but they were short and yeah. And a lot of knowledge and, and we pulled them in play pauses, and you know, we did all these fun things. And then the course is about to start in a couple weeks and we both get in notice me as the instructional designer and, and him as the faculty member from, from ADR, right. Saying, you know we have a student who has a, a hearing a disability and we need to make sure that all your content is accessible.

Jessica (13:53): And boy was at a huge sigh of relief for me, all of our first party or all of the items that we made were already ready. Can you imagine trying to caption 52 videos last minute? Yeah. That would be some work. And so, because we took that UDL approach and said, you know, we're, we're going to make sure that these videos are captured. And you know, we also did within there's other elements within the course that are accessible as well. But in reference to that specific disability, we had already addressed it up front. So we only had to look at a few third party items that were like YouTube videos that were auto CAPD with YouTube and, and we passed those off and, and, and ADR was going to check them out, but it just kind of reemphasized for the faculty member as well as for me, gosh, I'm glad we're doing this. Like we did this. And, and so the stress level was very limited in terms of like making sure that those extra things are done prepared for this student and, and taking down those barriers, they, they were already taken down before we arrived. Right.

Brian (15:01): Yeah. And, and what a sigh of relief that is to know you've already done the work ahead of time, but you don't have to scramble at the last minute or, or in addition to your department, doesn't have the extra expense of a last minute rush to caption videos, you know?

Adam (15:19): Yeah. We talk about universal design and it's, it's very proactive and it's kind of approach to, you know, meet students where they are and, and pro those options. And I like the year Ben diagram, you know, kind of approach to, to how UDL and accessibility and, and inclusion all kind of work together because they're not, they're not all the same, even though they, they touch on those different, those different aspects. But, but if you can be proactive, I think that's, you know, that's great. So how, so my question then is like how, how do you approach working with faculty and, and kind of talking about universal design? Like, what does that look like in a in a design meeting with you?

Jessica (16:06): Hmm, of course first I want to connect with faculty and, and see where there were there courses and, and some of the things, because I'm not a, an ex-subject matter expert often within the topic. And so, I often want to know what is exciting that faculty member, how did, how did, what did, what made them fall in love with their subject? And I know that that sounds maybe really silly, but when I was teaching in person, I didn't realize it then, but now I realize it, the fact that I was so passionate and excited about my topic, which is Spanish language, culture, literature, history, and all of the above that my students just had a great time. They you know, part, I can't say everyone had a great time, but it's thinking about some of those things that connect that faculty member with the topic, and then thinking about how can we share that passion in an online format and, and make sure that there's no barriers there, you know?

Jessica (17:10): And so, I, I like to talk about, you know, content, but also, you know, what have been some of the challenges that they've had in the past, you know, with student capturing the knowledge and sharing the knowledge. And I always like to approach it as how are we connecting? What is, you know, what is the purpose and how is this connecting with the student life or this students life, and how can we kind of lower some of those barriers so that students can express themselves. So, I guess it's over many conversations looking at content and then the students and, and combine the, the faculty's passion. And then also just saying, you know, we want to, we don't want to have to come back and, and make this course more accessible. If, if we do it upfront, if we do these things upfront, it's going to save us a lot of time and it's going to be a better course.

Jessica (18:04): And faculty, I think the one big that they love to hear is, listen, I'm your partner in this, and I'm going to, I'm going to do this for you. So you don't have to worry. It's about time, you know, they're concerned, you know, they have limited time. They're only paid for so much time and it's our job as instructional designers to be there as their partners. And, and so they often they'll really get on board. When you say, hey, I'm your partner in this, and I'm going to, you know, make sure that we can, you know, make sure these captions are here, or I'm here to explore tech tools to see how we can offer a varied approach to representation of your material. For example, they appreciate that.

Adam (18:50): Yeah, that's, that's awesome that and I think, you know, our, for our audience listening both on the instructional design and the faculty side that's nice to hear too, right. We're, we're all in this together. We're partners. I, for our younger audience members there, I you'll probably recognize that high school musical reference the, that was not intentional, but I did it anyway. So that's great. Well, I, I also want to give you a chance to, to talk about this idea of space in place, which you brought up earlier, and I know you're excited about it based on some pre-conversations we've had before the recording and, you know, the fact that you've, you brought it up so enthusiastically earlier. So, I want to hear more about this idea of, of space in place because I've, I went through you know, a phase in my own, you know, kind of career development where I was big into designing learning spaces and what that looked like. And, you know, so I'm, I'm always curious to hear what others have to, to say about that as well.

Jessica (19:53): Yeah. Well, I'm, I'm excited to share, but you're going to have to stop me if I go too, you know, too far on my tangent here.

Adam (19:59): No, we're, we're going, we have unlimited recording space here. We're good.

Jessica (20:05): Okay. Well, I'll try to not get too theoretical. Because what what's important is, is kind of process assessing the theory and thinking, okay, how, how is this applicable and practical for faculty, for instructional designers? so I did my dissertation on, on the development of intellectual practices and development of intellectual space, which often ended up being a physical space. But I'm a, I it's scary to say this I'm a medievalist. I don't carry a sword or a shield, but I do study a lot of old in a lot of old libraries and manuscripts. And I track intellectuals moving all over the medieval Mediterranean and how they shared knowledge. So it's really interesting that I feel like we're kind of folding on time here, cuz a lot of the ways that people shared knowledge in medieval times really connects in terms of space and place of how we share it today.

Jessica (21:02): And what I mean by that is space is often a very geographical reference in English. We, we interchange space in place quite a bit, the words, but place as it's been defined by geographical spatial researchers is what our perception. So place doesn't been until it has meaning for us and our perception of it. And so when I imagine space and place in terms of online learning, what I'm thinking about is for example, Adam and Brian, or you know, where we're partnering with faculty members and we are creating a space. So I get ask the question is, does it have meaning before the students are in it or are we allowing the students to make it a place that has meaning for them meaning and value, right. Yeah. And so when I think about space and place, I think both are very valuable. But when I think of us as instructional designers and faculty members and kind of taking that Michelle Kinski Brock approach of humanizing the course, if we're allow students and I'll, I'll get back to how it's related to UDL in a second.

Jessica (22:25): But if we, if we serve as F facilitators, as enablers for students to shape that place by creating community, by choosing the type of choosing the type of assignment they do. And I'm not saying the whole assignment, the topic and the outcomes would still be the same, but choosing whether I'm going to do a video or a written assignment going with my strengths maybe, or letting our students, we empower them maybe through community guidelines by creating that community or allowing them to, we're not only humanizing the course, we're giving students voice and, but we're allowing them to shape a place that has meaning and value to them. So that is going back to UDL. It applies a lot of that one representation we're offering a representation, but we're allowing that action and expression of the student that choice of how they want to express and take action in terms of learning.

Jessica (23:39): And we might even say that we're allowing them, like if we're empowering them to represent their community and through community guidelines, they are choosing that representation in some ways I think I'm still, I'm still processing it really. but that's, that's my, my thought about space and place. And I think our ability to empower students and support students in making that community and, and making our online classes, not just, not just this, you know, vacuum of, of content, but there's people in that space. Yeah. Right. And, and so we want those people to be able to create community and for it to have meetings.

Brian (24:28): So a, a question that I think of from an instructor point about universal design is how do I provide my students if I'm giving them options of turning in their work in different ways. Some, some person's going to do a video. Another might write me an essay. Another person might choose to start a discussion board and bring in other class members. How do I make sure as an instructor that I am providing equitable feedback on all those different types of assignments that I'm allowing students to turn in.

Jessica (25:07): That's a really great question. And I've also heard from faculty, how am I going to grade all those things? You know, that's, that's a lot. And Adam, I don't know if you wanted to jump in, I have a thought on it, but you know, I don't want to take up all the airspace.

Adam (25:24): I mean, I, so I will just say, and, you know, I, this was a story from years ago back in my K12 teaching days where I did a tic TAC toe project where students had essentially a TTAC toe board and they had to choose three, three in a row of, of a variety of different projects. They got to choose their, their three in a row to do those three projects that related to the whole, you know, big project as it were. And so similar, like how do, how do I grade all these nine different types of projects that I, I decided to put in there? And I really just created a generic rubric. Right. went back to like, what are the outcomes? Like, what are my even though there were different options, like everything kind of pointed back to, to similar outcomes that I wanted them to get out of, that it was just about giving them choice in how they, they kind of met those outcomes.

Adam (26:25): and then, so I created a generic rubric that was able to encompass all of what I was looking for in each of the nine projects. and it made it a little bit easier to do. obviously, that's maybe not always doable, you know, at the higher ed level, but it it's, that would be a suggestion to me to start is, is kind of, you know, one use rubrics to make your life easier. and two, like, how can you, how can you make it, you know, so that your rubrics can kind of cross over the different types of projects that you might get in.

Jessica (27:02): That's great approach. I was thinking about rubrics, but also, I was thinking about cheesecake factory again. we won't tell any, we won't tell anybody that I, like,

Adam (27:13): I promise we're not recording at lunchtime right now either

Brian (27:16): It's only 9:30 in the morning. Yeah. Ice cream already.

Jessica (27:21): Right. Not only from the choice perspective, thinking back about the menu, but can you imagine being the chef at the cheesecake bedroom? So that's kind of like the faculty, right. That's kind of like the, the faculty members, the chef, they're like, you know, they're, they're creating all these things and the students are like, oh, so many. And, and, and so it might be overwhelming on both sides. So again, it's not that you must have all the choices, but, you know, I, I recently I finished up my masters in ed or I'm graduating in May, one of my faculty members. This is the first time I've been in school forever. Feel like right. You know, decades. But I was taking this course and it was the first time ever that I had a course that was full UDL, and he offered he offered five choices, which I was like, wow, that's a lot.

Jessica (28:21): But he offered the faculty member offered five choice choices of different types of things where, how we could express our knowledge. And it was really fun. One, cuz I got to try the different choices. So, I got to learn a little bit of that, you know metacognitive in that metacognitive reflective way. I got to learn a little bit how, what I enjoy and, and how I express my, my knowledge best. But it was also, he didn't, he didn't go too far for that specific course. He, he offered five, you know, I've, I've heard faculty say, well, you know, I have 50 students in my course, I'm going to have about two or three. And I was like, well, offering two or three is better than offering. And if you, you know, have a way like a rubric or something that can guide those, those requirements, then, then that's a great start. You know, I think that's a great approach. And, and then also just making it clear with the, you know, tilt, transparent learning, teaching, making it so that students know, you know, what the purpose is, what the, you know, the purpose, the task, and the criteria. You have a lot of flexibility on how you do it, but if they know the purpose, the task and the criteria, it also makes it very transparent for the students on, on that flexibility. But what are the expectations too?

Brian (29:47): Yeah. And I think an important part of offering your students different ways to submit an assignment is they're going to take away a skillset from the method they choose. And they're going to be able to transfer that to another class. If you have one student that's constantly submitting PowerPoints, for example, you know, they're going to be a PowerPoint master by the time they're done with your course. And can you then during the course of the class, say to the student, you know, I would love for you to try doing your next assignment as a discussion or as a video because you've shown me you you've got the PowerPoint mastery. I know you've got that down, pat, but I want to move you a little bit out of your comfort zone, into your already high in your PowerPoint. I need to, to get you in your other skill sets, that same level of comfort.

Brian (30:44): so, let's, let's try this example, you know, as long as you work it into your course, that you've got meetings with your students and you can suggest these things because one of the funniest things I found in a course was in one version of the course, they were using Adobe spark to put together a learning portfolio. And then in the very next version of the course, they had shifted over to education, which is kind of the same thing, just a different name, but the information was transferable. I didn't have to relearn a new program to put together a learning portfolio. It was all just there. I had to relearn some menu items, but you have to do that every year with software updates anyway. So, I think that transformation that transferring the skills you learn into your next class or into your job or into the real world is an important part of universal design and, and how we apply it in our classes.

Adam (31:40): Well, and just your example too, thereof, of a tool like Adobe, be sparked to use for something, whether it's a portfolio or, or, or any kind of assignment, you know, that in and of itself gives some students some option and some creativity, right? So, you don't have to necessarily say, you know, you can submit it this way or this way you say, well, you're going to submit the project via Adobe spark within Adobe spark. You have the option to add images, add video you know, change the style of your, you know, how your text is formatted, and you know, and how you, you lay out your, your project within that. And so it, it gives a little bit more of that, you know, kind of ownership of the students for how they want to submit it, but everything is essentially coming in the, you know, in the same format, right.

Adam (32:31): In, in Adobe spark. and so, but the students have that freedom and that choice and, and that voice to, like you said, Jessica earlier make meaning of, of what they're doing in their space. and so that's why I, I love a tool like Adobe spark, and I know it's not, not for everybody, but you know, it's something along those lines you know, Google sites is off also a, an option there where you can kind of have some more of that freedom and, and more that creativity too, for students. So, you know, using tools like that, I think in thinking about how that relates to your outcomes and how that, you know, can be incorporated. we obviously don't want to just say like use a tool for the sake of using a tool, but if it fits for, you're doing, and, and you can, you can put that in there. I think it's great.

Jessica (33:23): I was thinking I had two thoughts. Hopefully they haven't disappeared. I had two thoughts while, while you guys were talking and one, when you brought up Adobe spark, I was thinking, yeah, I was thinking about voice thread. Cause sometimes you know, faculty aren't, maybe they don't have a project or aren't doing project-based learning, but they're really trying to figure out how can I engage my students. This is, this is a lot of lecture material, or there is a lot of material we're going through, how am I going to engage my students? And I really appreciate that voice thread takes a UDL approach and that it offers you can do like a voice you're as, as a commenter, you can do a voice, you can do a video, you can do text. And so I think that provides a lot of variety.

Jessica (34:13): On the other hand, though, kind of how you, you also mentioned Adam about having some or Brian, it was, you were saying, you know, you've really, you've really developed this skill. Right. I could see that you're a fabulous power pointer, but I'd love to see it. If you did this Michelle Kinski Brock, I know I've mentioned her twice. You guys, I just listened to the think UDL podcast that she was a guest on. And one thing that she was specifically that, you know, students are often nervous about speaking up in online classes, like voicing their opinions or doing videos. They would rather just write, which is a lot of their strengths. They're like good writers, but a lot of them feel uncomfortable with video. but it's hard. Her, her story, you know, my online student was graduating and I was like, oh, I wonder who, what she looks like.

Jessica (35:06): Cause she had never seen her. And so her goal was to change that, you know, she wants, she wants her students to know that she's a human, like a, a real face in a body, you know, a person, but that they are too. And so, she, even though they were using voice thread, she said, okay, we're going to do this together. But our first voice thread, I want you to do video. And I will, you know, I'll allow flexibility after this point, but I want to see your faces. I, I want you to see me and I want us to kind of exchange our introductions and get to know each other. And I think that was a good approach because I've been teaching online since 2009 and, and a lot of people are nervous about being on video.

Adam (35:54): That's understandable. And I, I think you know, also from an inclusion standpoint, you know, with video, you know, maybe not every student has a webcam or maybe not, every student has a, a place where they, you know can go and record a video. And so, you know, giving that option and I think putting it up, like you, you said putting it out there up front and just saying like this, this first one, you know, so find, find a way to make, get this first one done. And then you have some flexibility after that, that might relieve, you know, maybe some of the anxiety too, from students where they know they just, it's just one that they have. and you know, it's for a purpose for, so you know, to show presence to the instructor and the instructors doing that as well. And, and you get that instructor presence. So that's, that's great. And you know, maybe we can, when this podcast is released, we can, you know, tweet at Michelle Kinsky Brock. See if she'll come as a guest, that would be in a future podcast of our own. So

Jessica (37:04): Yeah, that would be great. She can talk about her liquid syllabus or, or other elements of humanizing course.

Adam (37:11): I love the liquid syllabus. I, I went to her session at OLC about that last year. I thought it was wonderful. So

Brian (37:21): Contributions to our guest star donation. Right.

Adam (37:24): You we'll see, never ask. Right. That's what I always say. The worst they're going to say is no, no, right. Yeah. But

Jessica (37:35): I have, I have a pitch for you.

Adam (37:38): Oh, okay. We like,

Jessica (37:39): Yeah. I like pitches too. Yeah. So what if we did like a challenge, like a 10 day UDL challenge. Okay. And we could help faculty during those 10 days, but like each day you could do okay today. just go through for a sample, the links in your course and make sure that they're all working. this could be like a presemester like right before the, the courses are out or we're going to show you how to look at contrast and fonts or audio and visual. Oh, okay. You don't have these captions yet. We're going to show you how to get access to cap optioning or alt text. Or those are just some accessibility things. Or also you could have a choice, you know, assignment choice, look at a few of your assignments and see if there's opportunity to offer more than one choice in this assignment. And that would be like your, you could do like a 10 day accessibility or U UDL challenge, but include some of those accessibility elements since there is, you know, an accessibility, inclusivity, equity, and include some of those because they're overlapping and it could be, I don't know. It could be, it could be a thing

Adam (38:57): I like that. I think. Yeah, I, yeah, let's do it. I, it's easy to say on here.

Jessica (39:03): Jessica (39:03): Of

Adam (39:03): Course let's do it. That's, let's go for it. But yeah, I think, you know, that that's a great, that would be something great to, to have available for faculty and, and to do as, as reminders and, you know, maybe any of our listeners, if you want to contribute or have thoughts you know, feel free to contact us and, and let us know. And hopefully that's something we can, we can get going, you know, and definitely read the, the digital download newsletter that is Jessica helped contribute and to, and curate for the month of March 20, 22. You know, if that's something that, that maybe we can, you know, kind of get going in, conjunction with that as well, that would be awesome.

Jessica (39:50): Well, and right. And then there's also, I think Nicole Schmidt is offering a great work workshop on UDL related to quality matters as well. Right now, I believe so. I think there's lots of opportunities to support faculty and of course we want faculty to share their voice and related to UDL if you know their voice and choice. Yeah. so if, yeah, definitely if there is some interest there that would be lots of fun.

Adam (40:20): Yeah, yeah. for sure, you know reach out to us. And, and if you have questions about universal design or accessibility or, or any of the, you know, the topics that we discussed in, in today's podcast, you know, come to office hours, we offer office hours Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays virtually. so, any of us any of the instructional designers in, in our office that happen to be on office hours during any given week would be happy to discuss these things with you. you can check that out on our web site as well. digital learning.arizona.edu under events you can find those times and a link to join. So yeah. Thank you for that transition for the, the plugs there, Jessica. Yeah.

Brian (41:12): And on the events tab, you can find a bunch of courses that we're offering online, such as designing your online course inclusive design for everyone applying the QM standard eight how to improve your online course, how to apply the quality matters rubric workshop. We're doing these courses all the way we're scheduled through July. So come check out the courses. We have sign up for one of them and, and learn how to Emeral Lagosi your course, bam, bam. Pick it up to the next level.

Adam (41:44): There are way too many food references in this podcast. I I'm sad that it is only, you know, 10 o'clock and not lunch or dinner time yet. But,

Jessica (41:54): I know, I feel the same way I was thinking, gosh, I'm ready for nachos, right?

Adam (42:00): Yes. I think the next time we should just record at the cheesecake factory and, you know, we can, you know, order all the things off the, the novel of a menu that they have.

Jessica (42:12): Right. No, that sounds great. And, and of course we want faculty to come build courses with us. Right. We love partnering with faculty yeah. And, and supporting them and making their online experience fantastic for, for the faculty as well as for the students.

Adam (42:29): Definitely, definitely. I just want to thank Jessica for joining us today on our podcast. I think this was a really fun conversation, brought up some really good ideas and, and conversations. So, thank you, Jessica for, for joining us and hopefully we'll have you back in a future episode as well.

Jessica (42:50): Well, thank you so much for having me and giving me the opportunity it's it was like a brainstorming session. It was so I love brainstorming. It was fantastic.

Adam (43:00): Excellent. be sure to join us for our next podcast which I believe our, our topic is yet to be determined. Right. Brian?

Brian (43:10): Well, I, I think it's how instructional designers work best when eating cheesecake at the cheesecake

Adam (43:16): Factory? I, yes, I, you are correct. That will be our next topic in some form or another, I'm sure

Brian (43:23): The feeding and caring of your instructional design.

Adam (43:25): There you go. I like it. but yeah, please be sure to join us. We will be recording and releasing podcasts every month and the digital download newsletter will be released every other month. so be sure to check that out as well and you know, learn and, and connect with the, the wonderful instructional design team at digital learning. So thank you all for listening and joining us and we'll see you next time.

Speaker 5 (43:56): The Futures in Digital Learning Podcast is a production of the University of Arizona, Digital Learning. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, you'd like to share with our office, go to the contact us link on our website.

Authored By:

Adam Davi

Adam Davi
Senior Instructional Designer

Brian Hale

Brian Hale
Instructional Designer

Jessica Zeitler

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Instructional Designer II