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Universal Design for Information Literacy


Presented at New England Library Instruction Group Annual Conference ... A 'disorder that affects people's ability to ... Gander, M., & Shmulsky, S. (2008) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Universal Design for Information Literacy

Universal Design for Information Literacy
  • Ted Chodock Elizabeth Dolinger
  • Research Services Librarians
  • Landmark College
  • Putney, VT
  • Presented at New England Library Instruction
    Group Annual Conference
  • Western New England College
  • June 6, 2008

Universal Design for Information Literacy
  • Learning Disabilities / Learning Differences
  • Universal Design
  • Our experiences applying UDI at Landmark
  • How do you apply UDI principles in your

What is a Learning Disability?
  • A disorder that affects peoples ability to
    either interpret what they see and hear or to
    link information from different parts of the

Matthews, D. D. (Ed.). (2003). Learning
disabilities The basics. In Learning
disabilities sourceboook (2nd ed., p. 5).
Detroit Omnigraphics.
  • is characterized by problems in coping with
    written symbols, despite normal intelligences.
  • common characteristics are difficulty with
    phonological processing and/or rapid
    visual-verbal responding.

Turkington, C., Harris, J. R., American
Bookworks (Eds.). (2006). Dyslexia. In The
encyclopedia of learning disabilities (2nd ed.,
pp. 81-83). New York Facts on File. Matthews,
D. D. (Ed.). (2003). Learning disabilities The
basics. In Learning disabilities soureboook (2nd
ed., p. 151). Detroit Omnigraphics.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
  • Is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or
    hyper-activity-impulsivity that is more
    frequently displayed and more severe than is
    typically observed in individuals at a comparable
    level of development.

American Psychiatric Association (Ed.). (2000).
Attention-deficit and disruptive behavior
disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual
of mental disorders DSM-IV-TR (4th ed., text
revision, p. 85). Washington, DC American
Psychiatric Association.
How many?
  • 1999-2000
  • 9.3 of undergraduates reported some type of
  • 2003-2004
  • 11.3 of undergraduates reported some type of

See Horn, 2002 2006.
Students with Dyslexia
  • Handwriting
  • Trouble with rapid visual-verbal responding
  • Find concept maps helpful
  • Note-taking is problematic
  • Slower than average reading and reading

Farmer, M., Riddick, B., Sterling, C. (2002).
Table 7.1 Frequency and percentages of staff
responding to question on problems of students
with dyslexia. In Dyslexia and inclusion
Assessment and support in higher education (p.
119). Philadelphia Whurr Publishers.
Behaviors of students with AD/HD
  • Disinterested
  • Disorganized
  • Procrastination
  • Misjudging available time
  • Impulsivity

Conners, C. K. (2006). What are typical
characteristics of those with AD/HD? In Attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder The latest
assessment and treatment strategies (pp. 8-15).
Kansas City, MO Compact Clinicals.
Behaviors of students with AD/HD
  • Executive Function Dysfunction
  • Working memory problem solving processes
  • Control of emotions impulses
  • Internalized speech
  • Reconstitution

Conners, C. K. (2006). What are typical
characteristics of those with AD/HD? In Attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder The latest
assessment and treatment strategies (pp. 8-15).
Kansas City, MO Compact Clinicals.
Universal Design (UD)
  • The design of products and environments to be
    usable by all people, to the greatest extent
    possible, without the need for adaptation or
    specialized design.

Connell, B. R., Jones, M., Mace, R., Mueller, J.,
Mullick, A., Ostroff, E., et al. (1997, April 1).
The principles of universal design Version 2.0.
Retrieved May 23, 2008, from NC State University,
The Center for Universal Design Web site
estext.htm Doylesaylor. (2007, September 17).
Afternoon sun raking curb cut. In Flickr
Photograph. Retrieved June 4, 2008, from
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • The burden of adaptation should be first placed
    on the curriculum, not the learner. Because most
    curricula are unable to adapt to individual
    differences, we have come to recognize that our
    curricula, rather than our students, are

CAST (2008). Universal design for learning
guidelines version 1.0 (p. 4). Wakefield, MA
UDL Principles
  • 1) Provide Multiple Means of Representation (the
    "what" of learning).
  • 2) Provide Multiple Means of Expression (the
    "how" of learning).
  • 3) Provide Multiple Means of Engagement (the
    "why" of learning).

CAST (2008). Universal design for
learning guidelines version 1.0 (pp.3-4).
Wakefield, MA Author.
Universal Design for Instruction (UDI)
  • With an absence of legal mandates relating to
    planning individualized instruction for students
    with disabilities at the postsecondary level,
    change will be fueled by thoughtful approaches
    that are responsive to the culture of faculty and
    features of their work that are distinctly
    different from those of their colleagues in
    elementary and secondary settings.

McGuire, J. M. Scott, S. S. (2007). Universal
design for instruction Extending the universal
design paradigm to college instruction. Journal
of Postsecondary Education and Disability (19)2,
UDI Principles
  • Equitable Use
  • Instruction is designed to be useful to and
    accessible by people with diverse abilities.
  • Flexibility in Use
  • Instruction is designed to accommodate a wide
    range of individual abilities.
  • Simple and Intuitive Instruction
  • Instruction is designed in a straightforward and
    predictable manner, regardless of the student's
    experience, knowledge, language skills, or
    current concentration level.

UDI Principles
  • Perceptible Information
  • Instruction is designed so that necessary
    information is communicated effectively,
    regardless of ambient conditions or the student's
    sensory abilities.
  • Tolerance for Error
  • Instruction anticipates variation in individual
    student learning pace and requisite skills.
  • Low Physical Effort
  • Instruction is designed to minimize nonessential
    physical effort.

UDI Principles
  • 7) Size and Space for Approach and Use
  • Instruction is designed with consideration for
    appropriate size and space.
  • 8) A Community of Learners
  • The instructional environment promotes
    interaction and communication.
  • 9) Instructional Climate
  • Instruction is designed to be welcoming and
    inclusive. High expectations are espoused for all

Shaw, S. F., Scott, S. S., McGuire, J. M.
(2001, November). Teaching college students with
learning disabilities. (ERIC Document
Reproduction Service No. ED459548) Retrieved
from ERIC database.
  • How many students are we willing to accept that
    we wont reach?
  • In traditional postsecondary educationthe
    capacity of enrolled students to master the
    content and achieve the outcomes is essentially
    assumed, often within the range defined by a bell
    curve. A certain amount of failure and sub-par
    performance is expected and even required to
    validate other successes.

Gander, M., Shmulsky, S. (2008). Universal
Design for Instruction Current theory and
practice. Unpublished manuscript, Landmark
College, Putney, VT.
UDI the ACRL Standards
  • ACRL Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction
    Librarians Coordinators
  • 6.6 Designs instruction to best meet the common
    learning characteristics of learners, including
    prior knowledge and experience, motivation to
    learn, cognitive abilities, and circumstances
    under which they will be learning.
  • 6.7 Integrates appropriate technology into
    instruction to support experiential and
    collaborative learning as well as to improve
    student receptiveness, comprehension, and
    retention of information.

UDI the ACRL Standards
  • 9.2 Presents instructional content in diverse
    ways (written, oral, visual, online, or using
    presentation software) and selects appropriate
    delivery methods according to class needs.
  • 12.2 Modifies teaching methods and delivery to
    address different learning styles, language
    abilities, developmental skills, age groups, and
    the diverse needs of student learners.

UDI Active Learning
  • Universal Design for Instruction does not replace
    Active Learning methods of teaching.
  • Active Learning methods of teaching become even
    more essential in the framework of UDI.

Applying Universal Design to Information
Literacy (UDIL)
  • Barriers exist in the instruction, not in the
    user, and thus it is the instruction that must
    change. This change in mindset alone improves
    interactions between the non-disabled and people
    with disabilities, as they become potential
    partners in addressing the common problem of
    shortcomings in instructional design rather than
    exhibiting an inequitable power relationship
    where one person is the problem and the other the
    problem solver.

Creamer, D. (2007). Universal instructional
design for libraries. Colorado Libraries, 33(4),
How we apply UDIL Principles
  • 1) Equitable Use
  • Create web-based course guides
  • Spell vocally and write out search words
  • Print words (avoid cursive)
  • Use a sans-serif font
  • 2) Flexibility in Use
  • Preview review lesson plan with a vocalized
    written agenda
  • Use of active learning methods that use multiple
  • Repeat back questions
  • Focus attention internally by asking many
    questions of the students

How we apply UDIL Principles
  • 3) Simple and Intuitive Instruction
  • Eliminate library lingo library-centered
  • Teach only skills directly related to completing
    the assignment
  • Use student topics
  • 4) Perceptible Information
  • Stress usability features in databases websites
  • Shorten task instructions by using few words in
    giving directions
  • Presenting information in multiple formats

How we apply UDIL Principles
  • 5) Tolerance for Error
  • Allocate 1/3 to 1/2 of each class for individual
    work time
  • 6) Low Physical Effort
  • Use of citation making software, print icons, and
    other built-in time-saving shortcuts
  • Decrease repetitiveness of tasks

How we apply UDIL Principles
  • 7) Size and space for approach and use
  • Redesign library instruction space to maximize
    collaboration and minimize irrelevant cues
  • 8) A Community of Learners
  • Bring a sign-up sheet to class to make follow up
  • Check in on research progress by e-mail
  • Encourage collaboration among the students during

How we applyUDIL Principles
  • 9) Instructional Climate
  • Have a goal that provides motivation
  • Work with faculty to have a specific goal, such
    as finding at least one research article on the

For more see Zentall, S. S. (2005). Theory and
evidence based strategies for children with
attentional problems. Psychology in Schools,
42(8), 821-836.
How we apply UDIL Principles
Applying UDI principles in your classrooms
  • What are your experiences with learning
    differences in your classrooms?
  • What techniques can you recommend?
  • How will you/do you apply UDI in your
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