In November 2019 I presented a workshop entitled “Instructors are learners too: UDL for faculty and future faculty development.” I also had the opportunity to speak to Lillian Nave of the ThinkUDL podcast about the workshop (here is the link to the episode and my post about it).
Rationale for the workshop: Most conversations about faculty development and UDL in higher education focus on strategies to convince instructors on campus to adopt UDL approaches in their teaching and to support them in doing so. However, surprisingly little attention has been given to applying a UDL approach to support faculty and future faculty as learners in their professional development.
As student bodies become more diverse and more colleges and universities introduce online and hybrid courses, there is a need for faculty development programs that are effective and widely-accessible. Additionally, faculty and future faculty learners are as diverse as the students they teach, and include instructors who may be disabled, parents, caretakers, long-distance commuters, tenured, tenure-track, adjuncts, or graduate students. (All of these factors have been intensified by the COVID-19 crisis, which has moved a large percentage of teaching online and created additional barriers and challenges to engaging in teaching professional development programming. Yet, teaching support is more important now than ever as instructors adapt many previously face-to-face courses to online or hybrid formats).