Think UDL
Emotion Science and Online Learning with Flower Darby

Emotion Science and Online Learning with Flower Darby

February 23, 2021

Welcome to Episode 56 of the Think UDL podcast: Emotion Science and Online Learning with Flower Darby. Flower Darby is an online educator and author widely recognized for her expertise in faculty development in online environments. In today’s conversation, Flower and I first talk about her concept of “Roundabout Design,” and how it differs from backwards design. And then we talk about her forthcoming book The Spark of Online Learning: How Technology and Emotion Science Invigorates Every Class where we will discuss many aspects of emotion and online learning, including how we can establish teacher presence and help students persist in their courses. Finally, Flower and I discuss some epic failures of our own and what to do when the emotional part of learning goes wrong. How can we recover from this? Have a listen to find out and thanks for joining our conversation!

Advancing Online Teaching with Kevin Kelly and Todd Zakrajsek

Advancing Online Teaching with Kevin Kelly and Todd Zakrajsek

February 9, 2021

Welcome to Episode 55 of the Think UDL podcast: Advancing Online Teaching with Kevin Kelly and Todd Zakrajsek. Kevin and Todd are returning to the podcast today to talk about their recent book Advancing Online Teaching: Creating Equity-based Digital Learning Environments. I had the chance to read an advance copy of the book and found it to be incredibly helpful because of its focus on UDL, equity, and facilitation strategies. Today’s conversation will focus on how to help you infuse Universal Design for Learning into your online course, support your learners with facilitations techniques, and assess both your own teaching and your students’ learning in the iterative process of online teaching. Thank you for listening to our conversation and we hope it proves helpful and encouraging in your teaching!

Supporting Indigenous Culture with Liz Stone

Supporting Indigenous Culture with Liz Stone

January 26, 2021

Welcome to Episode 54 of the Think UDL podcast: Supporting Indigenous Culture with Liz Stone. I first learned of Liz Stone through our UDLHE group when she presented a pop-up session virtually to our members all over the world. Liz Stone is, among many other things, the Academic Chair, Indigenous Studies at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. In just a moment I’ll ask her to introduce herself so that you can hear in her own voice and in her first language who she is. Today our conversation touches on Edward Hall’s cultural iceberg as it relates to teaching and learning. Additionally, we will discuss emotion and experience and discuss how and why we should value things such as holistic learning in which we engage the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional parts of our brain. We will talk about the importance of intersectionality, stories, relationships, and the environment to our constant state of learning and also about credentials and what they might mean and what we value and why it matters. Thank you for listening to this conversation on Universal Design for Learning and culture, specifically what we can learn from each other and from indigenous values and culture.

Inclusive Practices Include UDL with Amanda Jungels

Inclusive Practices Include UDL with Amanda Jungels

January 12, 2021

Welcome to Episode 53 of the Think UDL podcast: Inclusive Practices Include UDL with Amanda Jungels. Dr. Amanda Jungels is the Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Rice University in Houston, TX. Amanda, along with Dr. Chandani Patel and a fabulous team of educational developers created a free EdX course entitled Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the Classroom. As I was making my way through the course myself, I knew I needed to interview the creators because of the emphasis on UDL in the course. I was so glad that Amanda Jungels was gracious enough to answer my questions and spend some time explaining the connections between inclusive practices and Universal Design for Learning principles. In today’s mega-episode, we get a really great understanding of how UDL is so important for and intertwined with equity and inclusion work. We will talk about learning as as social act, what engagement means through an equity and inclusion lens, and we will also bring in some educational tools. Then we will look at representation and talk about vulnerability, culturally responsive strategies, bringing context to content, why metaphors matter, examine the language we use and even explore what that means in various disciplines from STEM to art history. And finally, we take a look at inclusive assessments and why we should explore upgrading, specifications grading, and what grading for equity might look like. It is a jam-packed conversation and I think many will find something new and helpful, and maybe even revolutionary, with regard to design thinking, in our discussion today.

Neurodiversity is a Strength with Gloria Niles

Neurodiversity is a Strength with Gloria Niles

December 22, 2020

Welcome to Episode 52 of the Think UDL podcast: Neurodiversity is a Strength with Gloria Niles. Gloria Niles has a background in special education and neurology and is the Director of Distance Education at the University of Hawaii, West O’ahu. Today Gloria and I talk about neurodiversity and how it is often considered through a deficit model. We will talk about how identity and intersectionality may shape our conceptions of neurodiversity, and we will explore ways to use a strengths-based, talent-focussed approach. This positive, flipped approach helps to promote equity and inclusion for all students! Gloria has graciously made several resources available to us such as the Intersectional Identity Wheel and a sample Inclusion Syllabus Statement, and you can find them on our website at ThinkUDL.org. I think you’ll find this conversation revealing in what assumptions we make, and what systemic issues all of our students, especially our neurodiverse students, face in higher education today.

Indigenous Ways of Teaching, Learning & Being with Libby Roderick

Indigenous Ways of Teaching, Learning & Being with Libby Roderick

December 8, 2020

Welcome to Episode 51 of the Think UDL podcast: Indigenous Ways of Teaching, Learning & Being with Libby Roderick. Libby is the Director of the Difficult Dialogues Institute as well as the Associate Director at the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She is an author, speaker and workshop facilitator who offers participants new ways to talk, listen and teach that rely on non-Western methodologies, specifically from Native Americans in what is now Alaska. Our conversation investigates multiple ways that instructors can learn how to teach using Native practices, and the benefits that using these techniques bring to all involved. We discuss earth-based pace, observation and non-verbal learning, dance, silence and reflection, experiential learning and storytelling. We also learn what happens when we just stop talking as well. I hope that you can listen without agenda to our conversation and take some time today to suspend judgement and think about what could happen in your teaching, in your university and in our world.

Mission Possible with Mordecai Brownlee

Mission Possible with Mordecai Brownlee

November 24, 2020

Welcome to Episode 50 of the ThinkUDL podcast: Mission Possible with Mordecai Brownlee. Dr. Mordecai Brownlee is the Vice President for Student Success at St. Philip’s College and an Adjunct Professor at Morgan State University School of Education and Urban Studies, and the University of Charleston School of Business and Leadership, as well as a columnist for EdSurge. Today’s conversation focuses on recruiting interest, inspiring students, and engaging them for the long haul in their academic careers, as well as what ways we can support students along the journey. Dr. Brownlee offers faculty some ideas to engage students and sustain student effort and persistence throughout a course, a term, and a college career. I found this conversation both refreshing and really helpful to me as a faculty member as we discussed the student success side of things to see how best we together (faculty, staff,  and institution) can support the whole student. This is a conversation about the systemic application of UDL principles, but it has applications for individuals and courses as well. I am so glad we get the chance to be able to learn from this conversation with Dr. Brownlee.

Pauses Make Learning Visible with Melissa Wehler

Pauses Make Learning Visible with Melissa Wehler

November 10, 2020

Welcome to Episode 49 of the ThinkUDL podcast: Pauses Make Learning Visible with Melissa Wehler. In this episode, Melissa Wheeler, the co-founder of the Online Learning Toolkit, introduces us to the “Pause Procedure” with which we can help our students with their own self-regulation and executive functioning abilities. She takes us through four different kinds of pauses including learning, cognitive, engagement, and social pauses, each for different purposes. We will look at when to use the “Pause Procedure” in face-to-face and online classes, both in synchronous and asynchronous modalities. Melissa helps us to help our students sustain their effort and persistence with pauses and communicate to our students that we care about their learning. We hope you can pause for a while  and listen to this really helpful conversation!

Make My Teaching Life Easier With Travis Thurston

Make My Teaching Life Easier With Travis Thurston

October 27, 2020

Welcome to Episode 48 of the ThinkUDL podcast: Make My Teaching Life Easier With Travis Thurston. Dr. Travis Thurston is the Assistant Director of the Office of Empowering Teaching Excellence at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. This episode details the four groups of people that all instructors should work with to make their lives easier and their teaching more effective. There are many colleagues at universities who are ready, willing and able to help new and seasoned instructors to find, curate and develop resources, design and facilitate engaging courses, interpret student behavior and feedback, and create effective presentations of content, and Travis is here to tell us who they are and what they can do for you!

Grace-Full Online Teaching with Emory Maiden

Grace-Full Online Teaching with Emory Maiden

October 13, 2020

Welcome to Episode 47 of the ThinkUDL podcast: Grace-Full Online Teaching with Emory Maiden. Emory, now the Associate Director of Online Learning, and I have worked together at Appalachian State for many years and he has always been my go-to instructional design confidant and guru whenever I have had questions, even questions I was afraid to ask for fear of being thought, well, stupid. But Emory has made me feel like my questions were valid and has helped me to improve my thinking every time. Today’s conversation is about moving online and what things we should be mindful of as we plan a course or as we are in the thick of a semester. We will talk about his philosophy behind using tech tools and how online courses really open up our teaching flexibility. We will also go over some things to avoid as you teach online, and Emory gives us some sage advice as someone who has helped hundreds of faculty move their courses online over the years. This was such a therapeutic conversation for me and I hope will be for you as we learn to trust the process, be patient with ourselves, and offer ourselves grace along the way (and don’t we all need that in our lives)! I was so glad to be able to talk with Emory and I think you’ll find this conversation insightful and helpful on your teaching journey.

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