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ADCET Webinar: Applying AI and UDL for Inclusive Learning - Perceptibility, Flexibility, Accessibility

In this ADCET Webinar, Elizabeth Hitches and Joe Houghton took a look at tools and techniques aimed at enhancing the UDL themes of Perceptibility, Flexibility & Accessibility using AI (Artificial Intelligence).

How can we make the most of the technology we either already have, or can access for free or little cost, to make our learning materials and learner engagement more UDL friendly?

This practical session demonstrated a number of ways everyone can build accessibility into their day-to-day process.


These are questions that were asked during the presentation that unable to be answered at the time.

Q: What are your thoughts about Academic integrity and the idea that students might be excluded from certain tools or features in summative assessments which they use to support learning/ comprehension equitably during their study.

A: This is a great point to raise. I think what needs to be closely considered is "what is this assessment actually testing?". For example, if we are not testing spelling, it is perfectly logical to have spell-checkers enabled. If we are not testing handwriting, then why can't students write exam responses on a digital device? What would be key is making sure there is equitable access to whatever tools we think students might be drawing on, so we don't have a digital divide or digital literacy divide impacting on assessment outcomes. There is some interesting work around UDL and assessment design which is raising questions about how we equitably assess what students know and can do, so I think this will be also become part of the discussion! But I think the key statement raised by your question prompts us to consider that if a tool is being used to remove barriers to a student's everyday learning and formative assessments, are we truly seeing their full potential if this tools is then removed, the barriers reinstated, and the student experiencing a different way of navigating content to what they do usually. For example, a student might use a screen reader throughout the term, or use keyboard navigation, and suddenly be struck by an exam or assessment which has clearly not been designed with accessibility in mind, and not only does the student have to experience the stress of the assessment as other students do, they have extra barriers in their way which they weren't anticipating! At each step I think we need to consider "is this equitable, is it inclusive, and are we testing what is intended?".

Additional Resources

The following resources were suggested by participants in the webinar and were not part of the presentation.


Elizabeth Hitches, long brown hair, mid-20s

Elizabeth Hitches is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, Australia. Her research interests lie in inclusive education at a national and international level, as well as equity, achievement, and wellbeing for students with disability, chronic health conditions and/or accessibility requirements. Her research is currently exploring academic stress in higher education, and how this can be reduced in inclusive and accessible ways through a UDL lens. She is also a sessional academic teaching in inclusive education across various universities, and a teacher of research methods at the University of Queensland.

Joe Houghton, short white hair and beard, wearing glasses

Joe Houghton is an Assistant Professor at UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business in Dubin, Ireland, where he is Programme Director for the MSc in Project Management programmes. Joe regularly consults with companies, Govt departments and non-profits in project management, risk management and more recently AI. He has written 6 books, has a popular weekly LinkedIn newsletter on AI in Education, and has published on UDL and communities of practice.

(March 2024)

ADCET is hosted by the University of Tasmania