Universal Design in Education: Teaching Nontraditional Students

By Frank G. Bowe | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Summary
As we near the end of our journey, let us pause and reflect upon how we as teachers can deliver education in a universally designed way. The guiding principle, as we saw in the Introduction and Executive Summary, is that it is up to educators and schools to take steps to reach out to nontraditional students. This means that educators need to plan for inclusion of such students. By taking a few fairly simple steps in advance, educators can broaden the appeal of offerings while containing costs; it is much more expensive to alter courses, texts, and other materials after-the-fact than before-the-fact. Chapter 3 identified three dimensions along which that effort may be made ( Biermann, 1997):
Learnability - how people acquire information (ease of learning, ease of use)
Modality and medium - how people read (output) and write (input), and
Nomadicity - networking or connectedness at a distance.

Briefly, universal design tells us to give students options. They should be able to obtain information in several ways, rather than just in one. This begins with information about the course itself. As suggested in Chapter 1, one reason higher education and adult and continuing education have not been as successful with minority-group members as with majority-group members is that the communication vehicles used to disseminate information about courses have not permeated minority communities as well as they have majority communities. In Chapter 5, another example was offered: you can tell your students where an electronic text version of the course textbook is available online. You can offer them disks containing your lectures. In both cases, these steps allow students to use speech synthesis (computer talking) to listen to rather than, or in addition to, reading. We want to present information in

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Universal Design in Education: Teaching Nontraditional Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction and Executive Summary 1
  • Chapter 1 - Diverse Students 7
  • Chapter 2 - Seven Principles of Universal Design 23
  • Chapter 3 - Universally Designed Education 45
  • Chapter 4 - Principles One and Two 63
  • Chapter 5 - Principles Three and Four 73
  • Chapter 6 - Principles Five and Six 85
  • Chapter 7 - Principle Seven 91
  • Chapter 8 - Web Site Accessibility 99
  • Chapter 9 - Summary 107
  • Appendix A - Instructional Media 111
  • Appendix B - Resources 119
  • References 125
  • Index 131
  • About the Author 134
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