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ADCET UDL Symposium: Navigating Inclusivity on a Shoestring - Casual Convenorship and UDL Implementation

The recordings will be added here in late September

In-person workshop

Casual convenors in higher education are uniquely positioned, often grappling with the dual pressures of administrative bureaucracy and the imperative to provide inclusive, high-quality education to diverse student cohorts. This presentation delves into the complexities of applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles within the constraints of casual convenorship, characterised by limited resources, transient roles, and stringent institutional demands. This presentation underscores the difficulties in aligning UDL's inclusive strategies - multiple means of engagement, representation, and action/expression - with the rigid frameworks of administrative bureaucracy, often resulting in a precarious balance between fulfilling institutional expectations and meeting students' diverse needs.

Drawing on personal experiences and broader educational insights, the presentation illustrated the specific challenges casual convenors face, such as resource scarcity and lack of continuous institutional support, which can hinder the effective application of UDL principles. Despite these barriers, the presentation offered practical, zero cost strategies that have been successfully employed to navigate these constraints, showcasing how UDL can still thrive in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Through detailed case studies, the narrative highlighted the ingenuity and resilience required to adapt UDL methodologies, leading to enhanced student outcomes and demonstrating the value of inclusive education. The presentation also emphasised the crucial role of community building and networking in bolstering the efforts of casual convenors, enabling a collective approach to overcoming isolation and resource limitations.

Advocating for systemic change, the discussion points to the necessity for institutions to recognise and support casual convenors in their endeavour to implement UDL effectively, bridging the gap between administrative rigidity and the dynamic needs of student populations. In conclusion, the presentation reaffirmed the critical impact of UDL in fostering inclusive educational environments, calling for a concerted effort from educational institutions to facilitate and support the application of UDL principles by casual convenors, ensuring equitable learning experiences for all students.


Susannah French, Australian National University

(June 2024)