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Podcast: Universal Design for Learning in Action - Dr Thomas Tobin's Keynote

ADCET was delighted to welcome Dr Thomas Tobin as one of the keynote speakers for our inaugural UDL Symposium with his presentation, "Reach Everyone and Teach Everyone with Universal Design for Learning".

Providing access to quality higher education is a priority for all of us, especially when learners are beyond the formal spaces and places of the physical campus - and especially when they are learning with us via asynchronous online courses. In this podcast version of his presentation, you’ll discover the “step zero” that makes all of our teaching efforts possible: access. When we focus our learning interactions on how our students get access to materials, each other, instructors, support services, and the community, we strengthen their sense of belonging and opportunity as learners.

Through the universal design for learning (UDL) framework, you’ll learn concrete steps that you can take tomorrow that help to lower barriers, anxiety, and stress - for your students and for you, whether you are new to the framework or a seasoned practitioner. Come learn how to take some work off your plate as you engage with learners.

Podcast Transcript

PRESENTER: Welcome to this ADCET Podcast, your gateway to the world of inclusive education in the post-secondary sector.

As part of ADCET’s long-running commitment to supporting Universal Design for Learning or UDL we are running a special series of podcasts called “UDL in Action - the What, Why, and How”

In this episode, extracted from a workshop at the recent ADCET UDL Symposium, we bring you “How to Talk with your colleagues about Universal Design for Learning” facilitated by Thomas Tobin. During this engaging and insightful workshop Thomas presented ways in which you can have meaningful discussions with colleagues and leadership in advocating the principles of UDL to address the access needs of all students at your institution. We hope you leave this podcast with renewed energy and new ways to engage with, and inspire others to join the UDL journey. Now here is Tom.

THOMAS TOBIN: Welcome everybody to day 2 of the UDL Symposium. Grateful to have everybody here. My name is Tom Tobin. I'm with the University of Wisconsin‑Madison in the United States. I'm a white man wearing black chunky glasses and I have a giant black moustache.

I would like to say thank you to ADCET for hosting me and making this opportunity for everybody, and I want to give a shoutout ‑ and I also want to help you be part of our session today. In Zoom you have the reactions button. And this is an appropriate way to send a heart or some applause or a little party horn or something, because we have a lot of people to thank. Our captioner, her name is Helen. She is going to be doing live captions today. So give Helen some thanks using that reactions tool in Zoom. And keep those reactions going for Debbie, Kylie, David, Darren, Gabrielle, Elicia, Jane and Charley, your ADCET hosts who are making sure everything is working behind the scenes. So thank you to everybody there.

You also have a number of different ways to be in our keynote session today. You can just lurk; think your own thoughts, take notes for yourself, don't interact with anybody, take it all in. But I am interruptible today. So you can use the Q&A feature if you have a question for me and our ADCET hosts will give voice to as many of those as we can during our session today. Also, if you want to have a side conversation or put comments or have running commentary during the session, post those in the chat and I will be watching that as we go along. So thank you Elizabeth for saying that's a great UDL approach.

Now, let's get started in an intentional way. On your screen is a title slide that says "Reach everyone and teach everyone with universal design for learning". It has the ADCET logo and it has a photograph of me on it. And let's get started with a little bit of a story. On the screen is an image of a sunlit woodworking shop of the sort that I remember from years ago working with my father as we remodelled our family home. Brick walls, work tables, benches, a table saw, racks filled with hand tools and sawdust and wood shavings everywhere. While our webinar today is also called a workshop, it's a very different environment. No smell of wood and grease, no feel of tools in our hands, no radio playing in the background with our favourite music or a ballgame. In our work today we are in the classroom, we are working with students. We are also on Teams and Zoom. We have cameras and ring lights and microphones, partners and kids and pets in our backgrounds, and divided attention even in our classrooms. And perhaps the woodworking shop on the screen is something you have seen only in commercials or old photographs.

This is what we're all about when we teach and we support our students. It is rare that our learners come to us having had similar experiences to the ones that we want to share with them. So one of our first tasks is to establish context, a story, something they can relate to in their own experiences. Aside from the strong social justice "it is the right thing to do" arguments for engaging our students with intentional efforts towards equity, diversity and inclusion, or EDI, there is a very practical one as well. Because our students come to us from such a variety of economic, social, gender, ability, preparation and family circumstances, we have to assume that no two of them will bring the same combination of talents, barriers and stories into our interactions with them.

So honouring the variability among our students isn't just a feel‑good approach to being more compassionate humans. Although it is emphatically that, it is also a way to lower barriers for our learners and for ourselves, to remove anxiety and challenges, and to focus our interactions on learning gains. Now, we won't get there overnight, but our workshop today will focus on the interactions that you and your colleagues have with learners, assignments, discussions, lectures, consultations, assessments, especially in your work as disability support professionals. And how can you examine and evolve that work and advocacy into more equitable and inclusive formats?

Now, during our time together today we hope that you will leave with a concrete way to demonstrate three objectives that are on your screen now: provide students with broader access to learning interactions; help learners to find more time for study and practice; and save our instructors some time and effort in the classroom as well. How can we lower barriers for ourselves?

Let's start with a little bit of a thought exercise. On the screen is an image from the 1923 silent film Safety Last, where the star Harold Lloyd dangles from the face of a rapidly disintegrating clock high above the street. As you are looking ahead to being in or supporting the classroom, but also having to be prepared to provide flexibility should the need arise, what is your biggest concern about the interactions that you or your colleagues will have with students? We will put two minutes on the clock for you to think and respond. If you would like to mute the audio while you are thinking and turn it back on when the music is over, I will post a message in the chat about when that music will stop. If you post your response via the chat feature, we will work after the 2 minutes are up and give voice to as many as we can and try to find some common themes. I will start with that music and I will also put the question into the chat in just a moment here. So let's get that music going. Here is two minutes of music.


All right. Two minutes goes by quickly when you are thinking. Let's take a look at what people are saying in the chat. I hear a lot of themes coming up. I see Allison talking about academic integrity. I see Nicole and many others talking about the mental health crisis that we are facing post‑pandemic. There is also a lot of people talking about time, and time for students to actually engage, but also time and workload for those of us who are teaching or those of us who are supporting students and instructors. Sarah is also talking about "what I put in place might not be carried through by others, so all the good work we do might live only as long as we are in our roles". There is also planning will be challenging, Sarah. Student anxiety. Sandra is talking about mental health among students. Elizabeth says "not recognising that barriers exist but also their feelings of belonging in the classroom. How do we help our students to feel like the classroom is a place where they are part of the conversation?" Fantastic.

Rachel is talking about lack of planning time to allow for the use of UDL. "We have the knowledge, the skill and the intention but not the time". So there is that time theme coming out again. Lauren is talking about "suiting the needs of students without working face‑to‑face with them", and we might actually touch on that in a slide number 12. Awesome there, thank you. Hermione is saying "managing cognitive load as well as catching up with artificial intelligence", and while we won't talk directly about large language models and artificial intelligence, I can turn you over to one of your colleagues at Deakin University. Phillip Dawson is one of the researchers there. He has written a two‑pager on how we can work ethically with AI and large language models. I will encourage you to seek that out.

Here are some of the other ideas here. Belinda is saying "missing the point or misreading the situation and inadvertently complicating matters instead of facilitating". When was the last time you heard an administrator talk about something that sounds good on paper but they didn't really think through all of the consequences? Well, when we think about universal design for learning, the challenge is juggling things, right? How do we help people to adopt good design practices when they are already busy? And this allows me to make two different promises to everybody. And thank you for putting your ideas into the chat. We are going to capture those and share those out later. My two promises for you today: (1) I do not want to add to your workload today. In fact, my promise is I want to take some work off your plate. I want to help you to understand how to choose where to start with universal design for learning efforts, so that you end up solving a challenge, taking less time to do things, or you help your students to have a smoother experience and you, as a support staffer or as an instructor yourself, end up having things go more smoothly. So promise number 1.

And promise number 2, I would love for you to leave this keynote with one action that you can take tomorrow that won't take you more than 20 minutes. I want to help you to get a start with universal design for learning. And in all of the other sessions in this conference, you are hearing fantastic ideas about how to frame UDL, how to do it, and how to share it with other colleagues. In fact, I will be doing one of those workshops later on how do you talk to the people who couldn't come to the UDL Symposium and get them to join you in your journey? So thank you, everybody, for sharing your ideas and doing a little thinking with me as we get started.

So now on the screen is an image of students studying together in a classroom. One student has hands on a keyboard, some have laptops, some have mobile phones, and one student is pointing to an off‑camera screen where someone is projecting his computer desktop. When we say universal design for learning, this is what we mean. Provide learners with multiple means of engagement. How do they get engaged with us and how do we help them stick with us even when things get challenging? Multiple means of representation. This is what we think about when we think about accessibility. This is captions on your videos, text transcripts for your audio podcasts, describing what's on the screen when you are giving a presentation, like I'm doing now, and multiple means of action and expression. How do learners show what they know? Give them options for how to do that.

I would like to suggest that we can also simplify that official definition of UDL into +1, and there is that +1 on your screen as well. +1 thinking means if there is one way that an interaction happens now, we should make just one more way. This is not perfect universal design for learning. And I don't think we will ever get to perfect UDL where there is just no need for individual accommodation. I think most of us on this call will still have jobs even after we implement universal design for learning. But before we get into strategies we should do a little defining of our terms. When we say UDL, we can think that we are referring just to learners with disability barriers in their environments. That's a common misconception among many of our colleagues.

So have you ever wondered why our disability support staff seem to be so overwhelmed lately? If you are one of them, you know the answer to this one. There are three good things happening that are causing that overwork: (1) we are at least nominally not discriminating against people based on their mental or physical characteristics. Now, yes, we have a long way to go yet. All the same, though, more and more different learners are part of our colleges and Universities than at any time in the past. And second, 2023 marks the first generation of college learners in Australia who have spent their entire K‑12 experience under the benefits of the Australian Disability Discrimination Act from 1998, the Disability Standards For Education in 2005, and the Disability Services Act in 2006. We are now starting to serve University and vocational Ed students whose prior experiences include self‑advocacy and more normalised help‑seeking behaviours. We are still on this journey as well.

And third, we've collectively identified a number of accommodations, things like extra times on tests, alternative format materials, interpreters in the classroom and notetakers that lower barriers effectively for people experiencing the most common barriers in our learning environments. And I want to give a shout, just as a pause here, Joanna in the chat, has put the link into that CRADLE Deakin resource that I mentioned earlier. Thank you for the support on that and finding that link.

Let's flip around the idea that why are our disability service offices so busy? Well, the majority of accommodations they determine with the students whom they serve are for things we could address in systematic ways. Do you need more time for tests in exams? Offer everyone untimed tests? Do you need content in more than one format? Provide multiple formats to all of your learners. Do you need help taking notes and studying? Create a collective set of notes and study guides with the class. These are things our instructor colleagues can help us with and support staff colleagues at our institutions can do as well.

Universal design for learning asks us to identify the places where we see patterns of barriers, lots of students requesting similar disability accommodations. Everyone in the class getting a concept wrong on a test and then the instructor has to reteach. Getting the same question by email over and over about an activities instructions because people are confused. These are the places where I can do promise number 1 with you: start with those pinch points, start with those things. Once we know where the barriers are in our learning interactions, we can take purposeful steps to lower or eliminate those barriers.

On the screen is a pyramid with UDL at the bottom to provide choices to the majority of learners. Then special services based on large groups of learners. Those are the patterns we talked about a moment ago. Then a smaller segment for individual accommodations and at the top of the pyramid, personal assistance for a very few people. While we will never get rid of the need to make one change one time for one person, we can dramatically lower the need for everyday affordances through the use of intentionally inclusive design models like UDL. As our CAST colleagues, the neuroscientists who figured out UDL way back in the 1990s, they said in 2002 our goal is "to make it accessible and appropriate for individuals with different backgrounds, abilities and disabilities in widely varied learning contexts". After all, every student who is admitted to our institutions, they've got the chops to be there and succeed. So we are not talking about lowering our standards or making our course content easier or simpler; rather, we want to keep the rigour and challenge in our subject field at a high level. College is supposed to be where you learn new things, but we want to lower access barriers to being able to take part in the conversation in the first place.

And you heard a lot of folks talking about their big concern being that sense of belonging. Do students feel like the classroom is for them?

Promise number 2 was I want to give you some things you can do tomorrow. Here we go. On the screen is an image of a hand with the five fingers spread apart lit from behind to indicate the number 5. As we started our keynote here, I want to suggest five specific things you can do to implement UDL in your teaching, your service and your student support interactions. Then we will broaden our scope a little bit and start applying UDL to multiple means of engagement, representation and action to your own everyday work. So as we get started, here is strategy number 1. Start with text. On the screen is an image of a TV commercial. It is a script. The writers are selling miniature meals inside those little coffee pods that go into your coffee maker. While I don't think I will be putting two ounces of ‑ does that say corn dog flavouring ‑ into my Keurig any time soon, having a script, though, is a good idea. If you have a script, a description, or other speaking notes you automatically have that +1 version when you create immediate‑based on it.

So build multiple paths based on a text foundation. This reveals gaps and needs. By scripting what you want to say, demonstrate and emphasise, you also reduce the amount of off‑topic content produced when you create other versions like audio podcast, a screencast or a quick 30 second video demonstration.

Now, we already have a lot of text; lecture notes for instructors, how‑to documentation for our support areas, process files, and the like. So pull information about the files that generate the most questions, the most emails, or even calls to your help desk, and start your UDL approach with those. This creates a solid foundation for +1 access approaches. Again, you can probably do this in about 20 minutes for one element of the work that you do with students.

Strategy 2, make some alternatives. On the screen we see a Professor in her lab seated at a computer. Two students are in the lab with her. One gives us a thumbs‑up signal. He knows we can take the PDF that is on her computer screen and upload it into our virtual learning environment. Born digital PDFs can be lead out loud or transferred to other formats. The other student in the lab has a video camera on his shoulder. He is recording the Professor talking about a course activity. There is an image of a still camera behind that student because we can take images from that video and place them alongside explanatory text and highlight important points to reduce cognitive load.

Now, isn't that dumbing it down for the learners? Well, it is if you are doing it wrong. We want to keep that rigour and complexity at an appropriate level for the content. For those of you in service areas where you are working as disability support folks or technology support people, this is where you can shine. You can help your instructor colleagues to make sure that the level of complexity is the same regardless of the path that your students are taking.

Now, at first just create two versions of content, materials or interactions, and then branch out as time and resources allow. Select first those topics where students always have questions or always get processes mixed up. Create a text‑only version and maybe a video‑demo version of just those materials. For example, track the most common issues students get wrong on the tests. Start with the existing materials and create explainer videos, caption those, of course, or augment the core text with images that explain or elaborate the text‑only processes and ideas, and of course add your alternative meta‑data descriptions for those still images too. Then track the effect of offering the choice to learners who want more information. Do your instructors end up reteaching things less often? This is where we want to take work off our plates.

Strategy 1, start with text. Strategy 2, make alternatives. Strategy 3, let them do it their way.

On the screen are three images: a traditional written report, a screen with audio player images, and a student speaking into a microphone. This strategy is all about how learners take action and express themselves. Think of the interactions that you or your colleagues ask students to have in class, or that your support areas have with faculty members and students, such as consultations, help desk calls, device troubleshooting, software setup and disability support. This is what I mean by +1 thinking. If there is now just one way that such interactions happen, both in terms of modality, say in‑person, by phone, in an interactive online environment, and in terms of process, so for scripted interactions, add one more way. This can be as simple as adding a format option to an assignment, or on the staffing side operating a mobile phone help line number that can accommodate both text messages and voice calls.

Strategy 1, start with text. Strategy 2, make some alternatives. Strategy 3, let them do it their way. Now strategy 4 is to go step‑by‑step. A quick question for everybody if you want to post something in the chat real quick. When you learn to drive a car, where did they tell you to put your hands on the steering wheel for maximum control? Anybody want to post that real quick in the chat? I see a lot of people saying 10 and 2. Fantastic. I apologise that I have just also asked your age. A couple of people are saying 9 and 3. Casey says this, Jenny is saying 9 and 3 now, I think. If you think of the steering wheel as the face of a clock ‑ and for those of you under the age of 16, a clock is a round thing with two sticks on it that helps you tell time ‑ then putting your hands close to the top of your steering wheel, that means that if the air bag has to deploy, it will put your wrists together and that's a split second before they whack you in the forehead and you will give yourself concussion.

They teach our young people to have their hands at the sides of the wheel, at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock so if the air bag has to go off, it will push your arms away from your body, maybe you will get a little bruise on your shoulders. Public safety tip from me. And somebody is saying 6 o'clock and one hand out the window. No, no, no, that's like the Melbourne driving school. Don't do that. We've got a few people saying thank you for the public safety tip but why are we talking about drivers education? Well, 10 and 2 is an outdated concept in drivers education, but it is a splendid way to think about how we chunk up the time that we spend with our students. Whether we are in support roles or teaching roles, 10 is 10 minutes. Share some information, content, demonstrate things for 10 minutes. Then 2 is 2 minutes. Take a break from sharing. Ask people to take some kind of action for 2 minutes.

Now, this isn't an iron rule but the ratio is about right for most things that we want to learn. And it is the act of taking a break itself that helps provide space for encoding of new information. On the screen, for example, is how we might do this in an online setting or on a website. Watch an introductory video and read a case study. That's taking in information for about 10 minutes. Then come back on to a discussion board and post a case study response. Read a scholarly article, watch a video from your instructor or your support staff. That's about 10 minutes of taking information in. And then go out and do an internet scavenger hunt and find a resource that helps move the conversation forward. There are other examples here on the screen as well.

So if we break processes into units, steps and phases, and we create separate resources with segments that correspond to those logical breaks and scaffolding, your students are never going to watch your 60 minute lecture video but they will watch 10 six‑minute segments, they just won't do it all in one sitting. This allows learners to reconsume short pieces repeatedly and save staff time when you update, add to or re‑order your content as well. The result is a continuous whole that can be experienced a little bit at a time, repeated for reinforcement or study, or even experienced from multiple starting points and self‑selected paths through the material.

Hey, spoiler alert, we've been doing 10 and 2 in this keynote. Remember the 2 minutes of music where we started out? Then I gave you some information, asked a few questions. We even paused in our strategies here because it had been about 10 minutes.

All right. Strategy 1, start with text. Strategy 2, make alternatives. Strategy 3, let them do it their way. 4, go step‑by‑step. And now 5, set content free. Use tools that are accessible and easy for faculty colleagues and students to learn. A good example is creating a screen capture video of a PowerPoint slideshow with your own voiceover and then host the result on a file streaming site like YouTube. Whereas students would previously have needed PowerPoint to go get the file and study with it or use it, now all they need is an internet browser because it has the video player right there. Students on phones and tablets can watch the video anywhere and content is no longer tied to the clock either. Students can review, replay and interact at any time.

And a word about captions, although they are time consuming to create, captions provide such broad benefits that they are well worth the investment of time for multimedia content. One change of current common practices can help everybody immediately. Most of us are used to closed captions where there is a separate caption file and people have to select I want this on or off. When you are creating multimedia resources, consider open captions. Actually burning the captions right into the video signal so they can be seen no matter who or when. Now, also upload the other kinds of closed captions as well because that makes things searchable. But if you are putting something in a public place or where lots of people from lots of different life paths are going to see it, those open captions are really useful for folks who are coming in on social media or looking at things in a quick way.

I love in the chat John is saying, "How do we add air bags to teaching? If someone keeps falling asleep push some air in their face." He is being a little facetious, or having a little fun here, but one of the things I saw in the themes when we were talking about our concerns was student engagement. How do we keep our students with us? One of the easiest ways you can do that ‑ and here is a little side note ‑ time estimates. Whether you are working with students to set up disability accommodations, or you're teaching them in a class, or you are supporting them in a support content role, if you tell students how long things are going to take, they can then estimate that and put it as part of their lives. So if you want your students to read a journal article or you want them to fill out a form before they come in and work with you for support, tell them how long it's going to take them to do that so that if a student is going to the laundry facility and the drying cycle is 45 minutes, they say, "Oh, it takes 20 minutes to fill out this form, I will bring the form with myself and I will fill it out while waiting for the laundry."

How do you know how to estimate that time? Well, it's not science but it isn't art. You do the activity and then you tell your students 50% more. If it took you 10 minutes to fill out a form, tell your students it will take them about 15 minutes. If it took you 20 minutes to read that article, tell your students it will take them about 30 minutes. Put those time estimates right at the point where they are going to need them, where they download the form or are about to look at the article. Giving those students those time estimates helps us as human beings. What's the one thing we are all really bad at doing? Managing our own time. This goes for students as well as us who are working in the colleges and Universities.

We've got some compassion here as well. Cathy is saying, "I love these down to earth tips. I've been doing this type of thing for years. I've been accused by some colleagues of spoon feeding students." This is why when you talk with your colleagues you can say things like, "I give them time estimates or I help them with the structure of the content." And they will say, "Yes, you are just holding their hands, or spoon feeding them or coddling them. That's not how the real world works." (1) the real world actually does work like that. If I told my boss, "Hey, this project is running over and we need more time or we need more resources", we figure it out. Also, it's not holding their hands if you are still keeping the level of structure and rigour at a high level for the content. There is a huge difference between procedural rigour, which is just being a cop, and content rigour. What we want to do is lower that procedural rigour. We will talk a little bit about that in a couple of minutes. Fantastic.

Cathy is asking can we please have a copy of the chat feed after. I'm loving this chat. Hey, folks from ADCET, we can probably do that. I will ask and see if that's a thing we can do. Fantastic. We've got a couple of other pieces going in the chat. Other people asking for copies of it and all that kind of stuff, and Rosario says this is just scaffolding. Yeah, that's right.

So these are the five things that you could do tomorrow. Now, each of these can take a long time or a short time. On your screen now are those five steps again for those of you who will be watching the recording and looking at the takeaway handout for reference. Start with text, make some alternatives, let them do it their way, go step‑by‑step and set content free from format requirements and from the clock. So let's make some time here toward the end of our time to start applying universal design for learning. Where in your interactions with learners are you already doing some +1 techniques along these lines? Or where do you see opportunities to address pinchpoints where things regularly aren't going how you planned them? We will put five minutes on the clock for your responses and if you would like to mute the audio and turn it back on, I will put a message in the chat when that's coming back. And we will see if we can get some themes in common out of everybody's stuff here. Let me put 5 minutes of music on. Then I will post a prompt here in the chat and we will end up with your ideas and then we will end up with some takeaways. Let me get that music rolling for you now. There we go.


All right. I wanted to make sure we had a good bit of time in order to really capture some of the ideas and thoughts that people are taking away. I'm also noticing that people are talking about things that they saw in other sessions during the first day of the conference, and I hope that you will continue to share your ideas in those chat features because we can pull those together and start putting lists together. "Oh, I do this and you do that." This is fantastic! I want to say to Jacqui, she asked is it okay if I put a link to the research I'm doing on universal design for learning. Please put it in the chat. We want to know about that. That's fantastic. I am seeing a lot of themes here. Chris is saying beyond a script I am thinking about storyboarding videos and sharing a storyboard as an alternative format with text and images. Denise is talking about assessment information in video and text and including exemplars. We've got a lot of people giving love to the idea of giving examples to students.

A few folks are talking about they are already chunking up their videos. We even have a couple of folks ‑ I think Susan was talking about how some of her colleagues are doing 60 minute and even 120 minute videos for their students and wondering why they don't view them. Then we have a couple of other folks, I think Justin was talking about breaking things up in his own work and now instead of doing 20‑minute videos, he does 6 minute videos and students actually watch them, students actually learn from them. Fantastic. Cathy is talking about giving students a choice of how they will be assessed. For example, verbal presentations, of doing a video of their own or written report. It is not always possible but when it is, it is a very effective way of getting the best out of our students and they really appreciate it. Fantastic. Annette is saying, "For me, it starts with knowing your learner, building the relationships with your learners, and asking them what works for them and what doesn't; learning about their strengths, background and cultures."

Can I get on my soap box for just a minute? What Annette just described is differentiated instruction. So when you get a certain bunch of learners in front of you, you want to know what works for them and that's a fantastic thing to do. Universal design for learning is actually what we do before we even know who our learners are. It is what we do when we design the interactions and environments, when we assume that our students are just going to be variable, that they are going to come to us with lots of different backgrounds and levels of preparation and abilities. And when we design not for that mythical average learner, but when we design our interactions for the people at the margins, we find that lots of people in between also benefit from it. So that's a wonderful 1‑2 kind of a strategy, is to start with universal design for learning, but don't forget that when you get the actual learners there in your space, to interact with them, listen to them, and work with them. So UDL helps you to do differentiated instruction in an effective way.

And we've got some fantastic ideas in here, and people are starting to really thread the conversation in the chat. So please, keep coming with this. Chris is saying, "I love the video chapters idea. Can't even find who said it now but I'm thinking about doing the same thing in YouTube."

I will share one last idea that all of your ideas are sparking for me. Don't try to do everything at once. You will burn yourself right out and it is not a sustainable pace. Take one action, remedy one challenge, one barrier, and see how it goes. You can always come back and do more later on.

So let's wrap up our time together, and this time I want to do this as a lightning takeaway. I won't put any music on. On your screen is a table laden with food. There are tortilla chips, guacamole, salsas, Mexican street corn, tortillas, black beans and a litre margarita in a glass jar. This is takeaway food that I hope puts you in mind of what you will take away from this session. Now that you have been part of our conversation, what is one thing that you want to try out, steal from someone else, have a question that you still want to ask? What's one big takeaway from our time today?

And I'm just going to post that in the chat here: what's your one big takeaway from our time today? We've got a couple of other votes for can we get a copy of the meeting chat. We can certainly do that. That's awesome. Post these in the chat and I will shout out as many as I possibly can as we go through. People need time to read and probably 50% longer than I might read it. Use one more method. Chunking and chaptering my videos. The huge difference between procedural and content rigour. Don't try to do it all. Use practical strategies. I am going to include time estimates. Never stop rethinking my strategies. Share the concept of UDL with my colleagues and get them on board. +1. One thing at a time. It's not hard to make it easy for learners. Incorporate micro‑breaks in teaching. Starting small. Including time estimates. Encourage sustainability. The +1 reminder. Freeing up content. Confidence to start. We don't have to do it all at once. I want to encourage time estimates and 10 and 2. Music to hold space for writing in the chat. And one takeaway, do one thing first. Baby steps. Design for the people at the margins. Procedural and content rigour are different things. Start changing only where you see problems or pinchpoints. Do one thing at a time. We've got a lot of love for those time estimates too, fantastic. And John says, "Separate bowls for each food item gives everyone a choice of what to eat or not, and not having to cater for dietary requirements for separate meals. Kind of like chunking." I've been sharing this image on screens for a long time and I never really figured that out. So thank you for that. Carla says, "Attend more of Tom's presentations." Thank you all.

I'm so glad that we got to share some key ideas and then let you all loose to start helping each other to take that one first step. So I want to say thank you so, so much for being part of this inaugural UDL Symposium, and if you are curious to learn more about universal design for learning and other teaching approaches, you can go to Thank you, Gabrielle, for putting those links into the chat here. And if you would like to continue the conversation, I would love to hear your story when we have some more time. You can find all the ways to connect with me at

Thank you so much. This was brilliant to hear all your ideas. I hope you are energised for the rest of the day today and the remainder of the conference.

PRESENTER:  Thanks for listening to our UDL Podcast series, UDL in Action, the What, Why and How.  You can find out more about Universal Design for Learning by visiting our website at Thanks for listening.