We don’t know what larger training will seem like after COVID-19. Nevertheless, we do know that there isn’t a going again to pre-pandemic tutorial enterprise as standard.
COVID-19 has accelerated the postsecondary tendencies that had been already nicely underway pre-pandemic. These accelerated tendencies embody:
- The shift from residential to on-line diploma (and more and more non-degree) packages.
- The digitization and hybridization of residential studying.
- Difficult monetary circumstances (rising prices and diminishing revenues).
One development that I hope COVID-19 accelerates is the shift in the direction of common design for studying (UDL). (See Tobin and Behling Attain Everybody, Train Everybody: Common Design for Studying in Increased Training – 2018).
Submit-pandemic, all elements of upper training – and significantly areas of instructing and studying – shall be digitally mediated. Even educational actions that we consider as primarily face-to-face interactions, equivalent to residential lecture programs, will embody substantial digital elements.
This post-COVID-19 residential training shift to digital will take the type of a continuation of some college students studying remotely, some lessons taught remotely, and most course supplies (lectures, readings, assignments) being created and delivered digitally.
This digitization of residential instruction can present – given the correct sources and incentives – the chance to make institution-wide (and system-wide) progress within the adoption of UDL.
Crucially, UDL will not be about creating and instructing programs that solely work nicely for college kids that require lodging. As a substitute, UDL is an strategy that advantages all college students by creating versatile studying paths and a number of technique of pupil engagement, illustration, motion, and expression. https://udlguidelines.solid.org/
As Romy Ruukel writes,
“[UDL] means utilizing various codecs (visible, auditory, kinesthetic, numerical, narrative, and many others.) for delivering content material; particular person and social engagement choices; and decisions of modalities by means of which college students can show studying comprehension.”
The institutional window to help common design for studying shall be most open when school are making the transition away from distant and in the direction of residential studying. This transition level shall be a chance during which the most effective components of the pandemic-necessitated pivot to distant studying might be preserved.
This isn’t to say that each, and even most, of distant programs had been designed to align to the core ideas of UDL. Some had been, however the pace and breadth of shifting to distant studying made it unimaginable for each course to observe finest practices in common design.
As a substitute, what we do have in place at our schools and universities is a pandemic catalyzed historical past of broad constituencies of college collaborating with non-faculty educators (educational designers, instructional builders, and many others.) on instructing and studying points.
When COVID-19 hit and face-to-face lessons had been canceled, giant proportions of college sought out and obtained help with course design and supply. With intentional dedication and concerted institution-wide motion (and sources), we will construct on that historical past to diffuse common design for studying all through the curriculum.
An establishment-wide dedication to UDL would require an identical emphasis on the right track continuity that tutorial leaders displayed in the course of the pandemic. Simply as the hassle to maintain college students studying by distant means was prioritized at each degree of establishments in the course of the pandemic (right this moment at its most virulent), an identical dedication needs to be made to universalizing UDL.
The timing, when the pandemic lastly ends with widespread vaccination, will good for making non-linear advances in diffusing UDL.
Submit-pandemic, school shall be creating and instructing their programs with distant instructing expertise underneath their belts. Professors shall be seeking to retain what labored in distant instruction and return to these instructing practices and strategies that work finest when everyone seems to be collectively in a room.
On this house, the place professors are fascinated by the transfer again to face-to-face instructing, colleges can provide strong ranges of help and help. We should always all be able to middle that collaboration across the ideas of UDL.
The rapid post-COVID-19 alternative to prioritize UDL on an institutional degree is a chance not prone to come once more.
We needs to be planning now – even on the depths of the pandemic disaster – to a future the place common design for studying is as normal and anticipated as a course syllabus.