Creating Inclusive Courses with Universal Design

By Alicia Brandon (Student Accessibility Services) and Adam Nemeroff (Instructional Design)

This post is the first in a series of collaborations between Student Accessibility Services and EdTech where we will explore the role of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and its role in creating an inclusive classroom environment. In this first post, we will introduce UDI and its principles, frame definitions for each principle, and provide examples of the principles in use.

UDI is a set of principles meant to address the needs of all learners. A classroom that adopts these principles seeks to not only support the needs of students requiring accommodations, but the needs of all learners to allow them to learn at their best. These principles, introduced by Scott, McGuire, and Shaw (2001), are increasingly being embraced by educators across the nation.

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4th Annual Canvas Roundtable

On Friday, August 12, 2016, 55 participants representing 21 different institutions in the northeast gathered at Dartmouth to share experiences, identify best practices, and build community around Canvas as a learning management system and strategy for pedagogical innovation. This was the fourth iteration of the Canvas User Roundtable hosted by the Dartmouth College EdTech team, with the goal of learning from colleagues and creating a local community of practice for institutions at varying stages of Canvas implementation. The agenda was a combination of of pre-planned demonstrations/discussions and unconference-style breakout sessions:

  • Data and Analytics
  • Rubrics
  • User Experience and Course Design
  • Universal Design
  • Accessibility
  • LTI approval and “Hacking”
  • Governance and Leadership
  • Piloting and Evaluation of Canvas
  • Templates and Standardized Course Design

During the event, we also used the Twitter hashtag #CanvasRound16 as a backchannel to capture ideas and generate discussion – which resulted in a lively digital community and conversation.

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Library Reserves in Canvas

Library Reserves files and links are now placed directly in your Canvas course! When you request reserves you will receive information on where to find the files and links.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 2.37.49 PMQuestions on how to integrate these materials seamlessly in your course? Check out the Canvas guides or email for assistance.

The instructional design team would also like to use this change as an opportunity to remind Dartmouth faculty that the college recently adopted a new set of guidelines for using copyrighted material. You can read about the new Dartmouth College Copyright Policy here, or click “Read More” for an FAQ on posting copyrighted materials to your Canvas site.

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What’s in store for Canvas in 2016-17?

A redux from InstructureCon 2016

Several members of the EdTech team attended this year’s annual Canvas Users Conference, InstructureCon, in Keystone, Colorado. Pat Coogan and Adrienne Gauthier facilitated a great session on building a regional Canvas community – this topic came about since our Ed Tech team has taken on a leadership role in pulling together a Canvas users and constituency group in the Northeast, targeted at Instructional Designers and Canvas administrators  (side note: it is not too late to register for the 4th annual Canvas Round Table at Dartmouth College, to be held on August 12).

This shout-out aside, here are some of the product announcements, to give you a sneak preview of Canvas’ roadmap for the next year. They can be grouped under four main themes – read on below – but if that’s tl;dr (Too Long; Didn’t Read) for you – here’s the redux in a single tweet:

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Need Help with Canvas for Summer Term?

If you’re teaching in the summer and would like help setting up your Canvas sites, the Ed Tech team is happy to assist!

Summer 2016 Canvas Office Hours

All office hours will be held in Berry 178. Our offices are located behind the computer walk-in center in Berry Library. Please look for the yellow “Instructional Design” sign and follow the arrow!

Date Time Location
Monday, June 20th  10:00 am – 1:00 pm  Berry 178
Thursday, June 23rd 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Berry 178
Friday, June 24th 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Berry 178
Monday, June 27th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Berry 178

If you’re unable to make any of the times listed, please send an email to An instructional designer will contact you to set up an appointment.

Authentic Knowledge: Students Bring 19th Century Russian Literature to Wikipedia

Last Fall, we were happy to introduce some of the work that Professor Katherine Mirica (Chemistry) has done with her students in Wikipedia in the post, Authentic Knowledge: Students in Wikipedia.This is the second part in a series about using Wikipedia for student assignments. 

Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy, photograph, 1901
Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy, photograph, 1901

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