Social Media and the Widening of Accessibility in Higher Ed: Exploring social media use and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Frederic Fovet

The session will present data collected over a period of 4 years on a Canadian campus during a drive towards systemic implementation of Universal Design for Learning.  Universal Design for Learning is proving increasingly popular in North America within Higher Ed as a replacement of medical model accommodations for students with disabilities.  The framework embraces the social model of disability and translates it into daily inclusive practices.

UDL advocates the use of three overarching principles: it contends that access to learning is widened for all students when students are offered multiples means of representation, multiple means of expression and multiples means of engagement.  The data collection has evidenced that many instructors see potential in social media when it comes to offering students multiple means of engagement.

Interestingly therefore tools which normally concern researchers and advocates in terms of accessibility – social media tools – emerge as key in the widening of access to all in the specific arena of Higher Ed instruction.  The session will explore fully this dichotomy.

Link to presentation on slideshare