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UDL Symposium: 2A. Inclusive by Design: Engaging and Supporting International Students through UDL

Live presentation including Q&A

Edith Cowan University (ECU) has recently seen a rise in the enrolment of international students in disciplines that historically had low numbers of international participants, with Early Childhood Education being one such area. International students are a diverse group of learners who bring valuable perspectives and experiences to the classroom. However, they also face many challenges in adjusting to a new academic culture, language, and expectations.

In the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) course, academic staff were keen to design their units to be accessible, engaging, and supportive for their diverse cohort of students to get through coursework in a timely way, be adequately prepared for placement, and manage differences in assumed knowledge.

The ECU team used a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach to guide the design and delivery of the Engaging and Supporting International Students professional workshop and companion LMS site. During the workshop, we also shared practical strategies for supporting all students regardless of their backgrounds and abilities.

In this presentation, an overview of the designed workshop was provided, highlighting a few strategies shared with staff for UDL implementation, and summarising early feedback from the workshop participants. They also outlined their plans to offer the workshop to other disciplines to support UDL implementation in their units.


Dr Charmaine Herfkens-Fernandez is a Learning Designer in the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Charmaine is committed to supporting and enhancing student-centred learning in higher education.

Alejandra Speziali, Edith Cown University

Heather Pate, Edith Cowan University

(September 2023)