I enjoyed exploring Universal Design for Learning this week. The idea that there are steps we can take to make our courses more accessible for those with special needs is nothing new to me, but that those enhancements may benefit all learners in the course was something that didn’t really occur to me. From the day I started web design, it was ingrained in me to provide alt tags for images and tables to address W3C compliance, so that was old hat, and I knew that I needed to provide a transcript of any video or audio recordings for compliance. It should have occurred to me much sooner that even those little things would be beneficial to all learners, considering I am not one who learns well from audio or video, and I would much prefer to read. I really like the concept of UDL, and will strive to ensure that I meet more of the checkpoints as I continue to adapt and develop courses.
I am most excited by the Glossary of Instructional Strategies at http://www.beesburg.com/edtools/glossary.html. I can’t wait to have more time to read through the strategies and incorporate more of them in to my courses.
The rubrics for quality online instruction were particularly interesting to examine this week. With this being my final course in the eLearning Certification (before the internship) it was not surprising that my course was in pretty good shape when put to the rubrics. Clearly this program is well aligned with best practices in Online Teaching and Learning, and that made me really thankful. I have bookmarked and downloaded all 4 rubrics provided, and will be sure to consult them as I continue my work in online teaching and learning.