Accessible Instruction for Diverse students
Ariela Hellwing, Yael Roitman, Noa Ragonis, Beit Berl College
Janina Kahn-Horwitz, Shosh Leshem, Jacky Levi-Atias, Tamar Zaffran, Orly
Sela, Oranim College of Education
Rhonda Sofer, Gordon College of Education
Addressing diversity in higher education is part of a global social trend.
One of the project’s main goals is to provide tools for faculty to enhance
their teaching-learning processes through discovering how to deal with
diversity in their classes. The faculty will become aware of their
responsibility and accountability to diverse students; familiarize
themselves with the notion of accessibility and the principles of Universal
Design in Learning (UDL) and learn how to use different teaching methods
and materials in order to ensure that all students are engaged in the
Accessibility is defined as: “The ability to reach a place, move and navigate
in it, use and enjoy a service, receive information provided within or with
regard to a service or place, use facilities and take part in programs and
activities, all in an equal, respectable, independent and safe manner”
(Accessibility section of equal rights for people with disabilities law, 2005).
Accessibility in the teaching-learning process focuses on a new
perspective on teaching and evaluation methods, together with
technological and personal adjustments.
Universal Design in Learning is a model used by lecturers to promote
accessibility in their teaching process. The model comprises three
components: representation, expression and engagement (CAST, 2011;
Rose, Harbour, Johnston, Daley, & Abarbanell, 2006; Spooner et al.,
2007). The model is the basis for the on-line course for lecturers
presented in this unit.
The main aims of the on-line course are:
1. Enhancing awareness of different types of learners.
2. Increasing knowledge and familiarity with accessibility concepts,
legislation and policy.
3. Providing the lecturers with tools and skills based on the UDL model
for accessible instruction.
The structure of the on-line course for faculty members, allows
autonomous learning off campus. Throughout the course, participants
will have on-going support and possibility to exchange views with the
facilitators of the course.
The module themes (with relation to the 5 project domains):
1. Active Teaching / Pedagogy
The faculty will be active learners in the course and responsible for their
own learning process. They will carry out various types of tasks
(Interviewing, watching videos, reading articles, and submitting a variety
2. Internationalization of teaching
One of the on-line course parts refers to the design of a course syllabus in
various forms (face-to-face, seminar, workshop, on-line). Emphasis is on
the field of teaching and learning accessibility. This topic is part of the
principles of syllabus designwhich meets the principles of
The on-line course for lecturers incorporates technology in its design and
exposes the participants to a variety of teaching methods that can be
used with students.
Diversity is the main goal of the on-line course, as expressed in the
5. Generation gap
The course structure is an example of bridging the generation gap by
using technology, different representations, sensitivity to learning
preferences, time and place. It can provide faculty with food for thought for
designing their own courses.
(a) The faculty will recognize the institution’s policy to diversity in various
aspects (human resources, student population, social and financial
needs of various groups, etc.).
(b) The faculty will understand the value of diversity for excellence in
(c) The faculty will raise their awareness of their roles, responsibility, and
accountability to diversity.
(d) The faculty will be able to implement principles of Universal Design in
(e) The faculty will be attentive to student voices and their cognitive,
physical, emotional, and social differences in order to successfully
facilitate their learning.
(f) The faculty ‘will be able to utilize different teaching methods, in order
to ensure that all students are engaged in the learning process.
(g) The faculty will be able to use various forms of feedback to diverse
Recommended venue for training
Extent of training
Approximately 20 hours.
The course has six main units:
1. Incorporating the principle of human dignity in an
exceptionality-aware academic environment.
2. The Universal Design Model.
3. Applying the Universal Design Model principles to teaching
4. Challenges and dilemmas in teaching in a diverse environment.
5. Elective unit including additional learning materials as enrichment.
6. Summary exercise.
Each unit includes a video excerpt, objectives, assignments and
references. In addition, each unit contains a forum where participants
publish their assignments and receive feedback from their peers.
The course assignments include a task at the end of each unit, and a more
comprehensive assignment at the end of the course.
All the training materials: videos, reading materials and assignments are
presented in the Moodle platform of the on-line course.
Materials evaluation methods and tool
Evaluation tool: Self-efficacy
(a) To what degree did the course contribute to my understanding of the
institution’s policy to diversity in various aspects (human resources,
student population, social and financial needs of various groups, etc.)?
(b) To what degree did the course have an impact on my belief that
diversity contributes to the excellence of my teaching?
(c) To what degree did the course contribute to my awareness of role,
responsibility, accountability to diversity?
(d) To what degree did the course contribute to my ability to implement
principles of Universal Design in Learning (UDL)?
(e) To what degree did the course contribute to my ability to be attentive
to students’ voices and their cognitive, physical, emotional, and social
differences, in order to successfully facilitate my learning?
(f) To what degree did the course contribute to my ability to utilize
different teaching methods, in order to ensure that all students are
engaged in the learning process?
(g) To what degree did the course contribute to my ability to utilize a
variety of feedback forms to diverse students?
Training evaluation methods and tools
Including the evaluation of the learning outcomes