Online Learning and Students with Disabilities – Accommodations to Support Diverse Learners in Online Learning Environments using a Universal Design for Learning Framework
Thursday, June 28 12:40 PM-1:00 PM
An estimated 17.3 million students are expected to enroll in undergraduate programs throughout American postsecondary institutions. It is projected that among these students 11% will report having a disability. Developing course content with an accommodations for all approach affords students with and without disabilities equal access to supports embedded within the curriculum. In online learning environments discussion board forums are used promote higher order thinking skills and provide a place where learners can engage themselves socially and develop a sense of community. This brief article looks at how UDL principals such as writing strategies, rubrics, and rules are applied to online environments, including discussion board forums, as scaffolds that support diverse learners, communicate expectations, and deepen student engagement. The focus of this brief paper are various accommodations that can be used in postsecondary online learning environments to support diverse learners, including students with disabilities.