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UDL Symposium: 4A. Using UDL to lighten the load on executive processing in a very large unit

Live presentation including Q&A

There is little advice for UDL adaptations that can be successfully used by convenors of Very Large Units (enrolments +2000 students). This presentation discussed the way Natasha Todorov applied Universal Design Principles to a Very Large first year Psychology Unit at Macquarie University to assist a growing cohort of neurodiverse students. And, in so doing, managed to assist all the students enrolled to improve their performance. These adaptations have the advantage of being low tech, simple and easily replicable across units in a course or Faculty.

The aim in making changes was to increase student success rates whilst maintaining high satisfaction rates with the unit. It was found that students in 2022 were equally satisfied with the 2021 unit but it is the academic success rates that speak to the measures and impact, in particular for the OUA (distance education) cohort, who rely above all on the iLearn page and its presentation and resources. The Semester had only just begun in 2023 when the following comment was posted on the unit discussion board on day 1 (24/7/2023) ‘I found it very helpful going through all the resources (like how to plan/schedule the assessments) it made me feel so much more organised and relaxed coming into this semester’. It is hoped that this bodes well for the coming year.


Natasha Todorov is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychological Sciences at Macquarie University. She convenes a large first year unit in Psychology and is interested in finding ways of supporting students at the start of their tertiary journey.

(September 2023)