Welcome to the UDI e-Toolbox! The UDI e-Toolbox features e-Tools that faculty as the course designer can select and incorporate into course planning, content delivery, and assessment of learning outcomes to implement Universal Design for Instruction©. The e-Tools in the e-Toolbox were reviewed and selected according to elements of the instructional cycle: Planning a course, Delivering course content, and Assessing student learning. Although these elements of effective instruction include specific activities, they overlap such that one informs and affects activities in another. For example, while planning may be a starting point in course development, consideration of ways of assessing student learning is an integral element in the planning process. E-Tools may be useful in more than one phase of the instructional cycle. Another way of examining the e-Tools is to consider their usefulness in promoting access in three domains: Cognitive Access, Communication Access, and Physical Access within online and blended environments. The Domains are described in further detail within the graphic below.
You can access the e-Toolbox through the graphic below or view a complete list of e-Tools on the e-Tool Library page.
How to Access the e-Toolbox
Click on the arrows entitled Cognitive Access, Communication Access, and Physical Access to view an explanation of the domain, the application to diverse learners, and the e-Tools under each category. Click on the e-Tools icon at the bottom of each domain page to access the lists of e-Tools. Click on the e-Tool of interest to access information about that e-Tool, including its description and use. Click on the center of the circle, UDI, to view the nine Principles of UDI©.
- Cognitive Access
Cognitive Access within UDI Online refers to approaches and elements that assist diverse learners to acquire, comprehend, recall, apply, evaluate, integrate, and express information within a digital learning environment.
- UDI Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) is an approach to teaching that consists of the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities.
- Communication Access
Communication Access within UDI Online refers to approaches and elements that provide multiple opportunities for interaction and dialogue to engage diverse learners within a digital learning environment.
- Physical Access
Physical Access within UDI Online refers to approaches and elements that support the ease of navigation of course web sites, clarity in the display of course content, and availability of course information in multiple formats to provide opportunities for diverse learners to acquire and manipulate course content within a digital learning environment.
Tool Selection Process and Definition of e-Tools
E-Tools selected for this e-Toolbox were vetted by the UDI Online Project team and met criteria for accessibility, usability, effectiveness, and the application of one or more of the Principles of UDI©. For this project, e-Tools are defined as digitally presented materials, instructional techniques, and/or strategies that can be used or manipulated by a course instructor to proactively create a learning environment that benefits a broad range of learners.
Definitions of Accessibility, Usability, and Effectiveness
Accessibility is the degree to which an e-Tool makes course content obtainable to diverse learners. For example, providing handouts in digital format makes it possible for students with learning disabilities to use text-to-speech software to listen to the text in the handout while reading it.
Usability is the degree to which an e-Tool can be easily implemented within a course. For example, faculty, as the designer of an online courses, are able to use an e-Tool without the need for IT support.
Effectiveness is the degree to which the features of an e-Tool can produce a selected outcome. For example, students in online courses have identified communication between students and the instructor as a significant need. Instructors may use audio, video, or conferencing e-Tools to communicate with students.
Relationship Between UDI and e-Tools
The application of UDI occurs when an e-Tool that is incorporated in a course reflects one or more of the nine Principles of UDI©. Using the example cited for Effectiveness, providing an environment that promotes interaction and communication between students and faculty exemplifies UDI Principle 8: A Community of Learners.