Curriculum Guideline

Teaching and Learning: Universal Design for Learning

Effective Date:
Course Code
DACS 1250
Teaching and Learning: Universal Design for Learning
Disability & Community Studies
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 Hours Face-to-face: lecture/Seminar - 2x2 or 1x3 Online: 2x2
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction


  • Lecture
  • Group Work
  • Audio / Video Presentations
  • Case Studies
  • Hands-on practice
  • Demonstration and use of high and low level technologies


  • Recorded lecture
  • Online group discussions
  • Audio / video presentations
  • Case studies
  • Individual practice activities
Course Description
This course is based on the fundamentals of Universal Design for Learning. Students collaboratively plan and implement teaching strategies, as well as use tools for monitoring individuals' progress. While reducing environmental barriers to learning, students learn to incorporate multiple means of presenting materials (adaptations), while encouraging individuals' demonstration of learning (expression) and engagement through motivational strategies and effective communication.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. Individuals are unique in how they learn.  Effective practitioners match teaching methods to meet the needs of the individuals, the activity at hand and the context in which it is happening. Practitioners enhance the learning environment to minimize learning barriers.
  2. Monitoring and evaluating progress are integral elements of teaching and learning because they help pinpoint areas for new learning, challenges and successes.
  3. Creative problem solving, flexibility and developing adaptations are important skills for effective practitioners.  These skills facilitate the teaching and learning process, especially for those with complex needs.
  4. How and when to provide and fade assistance are important elements of effective teaching and learning which promote personal autonomy and independence.
  5. Collaborative planning which involves the individual, team and family or support network enhances the teaching and learning process.  This process provides greater opportunity for generalization for newly acquired skills.
  6. The principle of caring underlies practitioners’ actions and interactions.  It is reflected in their language, the methods they employ, and their respect for the individuals they support and with whom they work.
  7. Communication skills are integral to teaching and learning interactions.  They include recognizing and practicing a range of communication methods, both verbal and non-verbal, expressive and receptive.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Use problem solving approaches and a variety of tools and methods that align with Universal Design for Learning when meeting individuals' needs:
    • Consider the individual’s unique style and traits
    • Match tools and techniques to purpose and setting
    • Develop appropriate adaptations and modifications to curriculum, e.g. environment, process, materials (including technology) that best support individual learners
    • Describe dynamic nature of adaptations and modifications
    • Apply strategies for adaptations and modifications using simple and complex technologies, such as Picture Communication Symbols, iPad/Tablet apps, Kurzweil, and Khan Academy
  2. Use clear communication skills understood by individuals being supported and by colleagues
    • Use active listening skills
    • Use “plain language”
    • Use effective verbal, non-verbal and written modes
  3. Individualize teaching and learning by using a variety of methods
    • Maximize use of natural cues and corrections
    • Give and accept feedback
    • Incorporate feedback in own practice
    • Demonstrate providing/fading assistance
    • Demonstrate general and transfer teaching processes.
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Tests / Quizzes
  • Individual Assignments
  • Case Study Analysis
  • Product Development and Toolkit
  • Online contributions
Textbook Materials






Which Prerequisite