UDLL (Universal Design for Learning – License to Learn) is the name of a European project financed by Erasmus+. The project theme is Universal Design for Learning, and the main purpose is to examine how all students can get equal opportunities to learn using more flexible methods of teaching, assessment and service provision to cater for different styles of learners.
The project will use the principles of Universal Design both as a pedagogical strategy and as a set of specific guidelines and practical tools, to demonstrate how Universal Design for learning (UDL) can be the best solution to develop an inclusive learning environment and a higher quality of learning to the benefit for all students. The quality of the UDL solution will be secured through contribution from four important stakeholders: the student/learner, the academic staff, the higher education policy makers and the student support offices. The project outcomes will be:
- A Best Practice Guideline about universal design for learning addressed from and for the four stakeholders: students, academic staff, management and student support services.
- A digital toolkit, designed for students to gain more knowledge about their challenges and needs, as well as appropriate tools to study with their disability.
- A dissemination conference in Belgium, in June 2016.
Finally, our Best Practice Guidelines are published on our website and ready for you to use as a tool in implementing UDL as a strategy for inclusion at your Higher education institution!
The guidelines are based on four focus group meetings with students, academic staff, management and student support officers, literature studies and lots of talks with stakeholders regarding their experiences.
We address a wide range of readers, with different experiences, roles, attitudes and ideas about how to address students diversity.We hope these guidelines will help you to start reflect about your role in this process, and our purpose is twofold:
Firstly, we want to embrace Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning as the best concepts for a flexible, creative and inclusive learning environment for the benefit of all learners, including you.
Secondly, we want to give you theory, perspectives and practical tools to challenge and change your everyday working methods.
Using our seven guidelines, you will learn about important aspects of introducing UDL as a key concept for creating inclusive learning. The guidelines address all the important stakeholders within a higher education institution, who in our opinion have a role to play in understanding and implementation of the concept.
Universal Design for Learning – License to Learn (UDLL) is a 2-year Erasmus+ project. During the project we collected contributions from four important stakeholders: the students, the academic staff, the higher education policy makers and the student support services.
The dissemination conference was arranged in Ghent, Belgium the 28.-29. of June 2016. The venue was Artevelde University College Ghent.
Day 1 of the conference we disseminated the project results. Participants got a draft of the Best Practice Guidelines and a demonstration of the Student Toolkit.
Day 2 we applied the results to the bigger context with examples from European practice.
For more information about the conference, please visit the Official Conference Website.
Please feel free to also visit the Facebook event page and check out #UDLL2016 on Twitter.
During a session on the Student support services, we asked the participants “what challenges and success criteria do you see in developing a universally designed learning environment?” You can see some of the answers we collected on Padlet.
In April 19th – 20th 2016, we arranged the fourth workshop – this time with participants from student support services. The focus group took place at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, Norway. The group of participants were diverse consisting of staff working for students with disabilities in a Disability office or providing other services for students at a Faculty or an institute level.
In this fourth focus group, our objective was to gain insight and understanding of the student support services knowledge and thinking when it comes to forming and implementing universal design for learning as the main approach for including all students in higher education. This includes how student support services perceive their role in a transition from working ad-hoc with individual accommodations to planning proactively with universally designed solutions that includes students with disabilities and provide better learning for all students.
Call for participants: 1st of March 2016
Application deadline: 16th of March 2016
Notifications regarding status of your application: 18th of March 2016
Workshop: 19th – 20th of April 2016
In January the 19th – 20th., we arranged the third workshop. This time we invited management and leadership to share their perspectives, in Oslo, Norway. The participants was a diverse group:
- Some worked nationally in developing or influencing Universal Design
- Some worked nationally in influencing, developing or implementing Higher Education Policy
- Some worked in the management of a Higher Education Policy
In the third focus group meeting, our objective was to gain insight and understanding of the policy makers/managements knowledge and thinking when it comes to form policy, declare visions and to develop and implement strategies for universal design and inclusive learning in Higher Education. An important project objective is also to investigate obstacles to the ideas, but most important, to find and share common grounds of these question between the partner countries in these matter.
Dissemination: December 3rd 2015
Handling in deadline: December 11th 2015
Decision: December 16th 2015
Workshop: 19th.-20th of January 2016
8 students from Ireland, Belgium and Norway met in Dublin from the 18th to the 20th of March. During three intense days they participated in the Student workshop, where the aim was to capture the experience of learning for students with disabilities in Higher Education. Their contributions are highly appreciated and will serve as important input to the UDLL project.
Amongst our objectives were to clarify when learning is challenging, engaging and interesting – and how the students learn best. Through sharing personal stories with the group, the students got to point out key challenges and promoters affecting their learning process in higher education.
To develop the Best Practice Guidelines, we are running a series of workshop with four different stakeholders (students, academic staff, management, and support services).
The second workshop, consisting of academic staff took place 24th – 25th of June 2015 in Ghent, Belgium. Nine academic staff participated, – three from each partner country.
During the workshop, we explored experiences and knowledge regarding:
- Stories that have inspired teaching and learning practices to accommodate individual learning differences among students
- Intentions and benefits for working with Universal design for Learning
- Challenges and obstacles they see along the way and how they can overcome/cope with them
- Best teaching moment so far and why
- Assessments that worked out really well
- Reasons to start with/sustain teaching and learning practices that can accommodate individual learning differences among students.
Information regarding academic workshop (docx)
Dissemination: 5th of March 2015
Handing in deadline: 1th of April 2015
Decision: 14th of April 2015
Workshop: 24th – 25th of June 2015