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  • Author or Editor: Thomas J. Tobin x
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To help make educational materials and practices inclusive and useful for all learners, this review article provides the history of the universal design for learning (UDL) framework by defining it in its educational context and by showing how it has been adopted in K-12 and higher education institutions across North America. It reframes UDL as a strategy for reaching adult learners on their mobile devices, and radically reflects on how faculty members and course designers can adopt UDL in order to create learning interactions that provide students with more time for study and practice in their busy days. To this end, the author argues that we should broaden our course-access-design focus away from learners with disabilities and toward a larger ease-of-use/general-inclusion framework. Going through this article, we will be able to help our faculty colleagues to incorporate UDL elements into their courses, design/retrofit existing course components using UDL principles, and expand our institution’s use of UDL elements beyond the legally required minimum. This article posits diversity in its most inclusive form: instead of relying solely on providing accommodation services to learners with disabilities – which is most often a last-minute, ad-hoc, reactive process – adopting UDL as part of an institution’s culture of course design, teaching practices, and support services allows all learners to benefit, regardless of their place on the ability spectrum.

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