Learning Support Responsibilities Preparation
Principles of universal design in education
Seven principles of universal design
According to The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training there are seven generic principles of universal design that can be adapted to reflect the educational setting.
1. Equitable educational experience
- Instruction is understandable and relevant to all learners, and accessible to learners with a diverse range of abilities.
- Information is available in various formats at the same time.
- Assessment is carried out in a flexible manner.
2. Flexible material and instruction
- Learners can choose how they access material (i.e. formal lectures are supported by online material, labs and tutorials available at different times of the day and week).
- Material is designed to accommodate the widest range of users.
- Material is adapted to suit all learning paces (i.e. lecturers pause after key points).
3. Predictable structure and instruction
- Material is easy to understand and logically sequenced, according to importance.
- Instruction occurs in a predictable manner and format.
- Material such as notes and websites are offered in a clear, easy-to-read format.
- Feedback is adequate and timely.
4. Perceptible information
- Information is communicated in multiple ways (i.e. visual and auditory).
- Websites follow the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines.
- Information is compatible with assistive technology.
5. Mistakes are tolerated
- Learning hazards are minimised (i.e. a homepage link on all web pages allows the user to return to home if they make a mistake).
- Instruction anticipates variation of skill and ability.
- Advanced notice about important tutorials and lectures is provided.
- Students are encouraged to get help with proof-reading documents.
6. Eliminate unnecessary physical effort
- Non-essential physical effort is minimised.
- Students have the opportunity for rest breaks during class.
7. Physical accessibility
- Instruction is equally available to people with different physical characteristics and communication needs.
- Learning environments cater for assistive technology.