For the past year, educators at Goodwin College have been engaged in professional learning and spirited conversations on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an innovative approach to education based on cognitive neuroscience research. The UDL framework is used to develop flexible learning environments that accommodate individual differences within a student population. The concepts of inclusivity, fairness, and equity are the foundation of the UDL framework. Faculty members at Goodwin can volunteer to participate in specialized professional development designed to assist them in incorporating UDL principles into curricula.
To inspire continued dialogue among other interested educators, Goodwin College will host a regional UDL conference on Friday, November 9, 2018. The theme, From Novice to Expert, encourages embracing UDL principles to support students in attaining specialized knowledge and abilities possessed by those who create, communicate, and use knowledge within each of our academic disciplines.
The day’s schedule includes morning coffee, a keynote address, three sessions of concurrent workshops, lunch, and networking.
Allison Posey, Curriculum Design Specialist at CAST, will deliver the inaugural keynote address. Participants will gain a working knowledge of the neuroscience of learning and how neuro-variability plays out in different educational environments in higher education settings. Posey works with educators to integrate and apply current understandings from brain research about learning into instructional practices so that all learners are able to access materials, build fluency, and become expert learners. Her first book, due out this fall, focuses on the role of emotions for learning.
The conference will also feature a book signing with the authors of Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone — Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. Thomas J. Tobin is the Conference Programming Chair for the Distance Education Professional Development department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an internationally recognized speaker on quality in technology-enhanced education. Kirsten Behling is the Director of Student Accessibility Services at Tufts University and an adjunct professor in the Disability Services in Higher Education Graduate Certificate Program at Suffolk University. She helped to develop the Graduate Certificate Program in Postsecondary Disability Services at the University of Connecticut.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.