Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

OU Teaching Initiatives

Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) promotes student success through inclusive practices that increase access and reduce barriers to learning for all students, particularly benefiting those with diverse learning and life needs. The UDL Initiative Team at Oakland University commits to serve as a driving force to foster a campus culture based in the core values of student success and inclusivity by promoting UDL practices and principles. 
UDL is both a philosophical belief that all students should have increased opportunities for successful learning, and a set of principles and guidelines for implementation in the classroom and across the campus to support inclusive practices. Although UDL does not replace accommodations for students with identified disabilities, it may reduce the degree to which accommodations are required by proactively increasing access for all. The UDL team at Oakland University is comprised of faculty, students, and staff; with representation from student congress, academic affairs, student affairs, the office of diversity and inclusion, disability support services, and technology services.  View the team list.

OU Resources

CETL's resources on UDL include Quick Notes (brief, visual guides), 5-minute videos, teaching tips, and additional resources such as past events and handouts.

Quick Notes

Quick Notes are your brief visual guide to best practices, university processes, and other good-to-know aspects of helping students succeed.

Teaching Strategies for Each UDL Principle

Benefits to Learner Groups

5-minute Videos

CETL's YouTube channel features short videos that illustrate teaching and learning principles. Below are the videos in the 6-part UDL series.

Teaching Strategies for Each UDL Principle

Benefits to Learner Groups

Teaching Tips

These teaching tips were featured in the CETL Weekly Teaching Tips series ( These teaching tips feature strategies from faculty at OU and beyond.

Additional CETL Resources

Workshop Materials

UDL Faculty Development Institute (2016-2017)

Introduction to UDL Faculty Development Institute (Nichols-Hess, 2016) and  handout

External Resources

Digital Accessibility for Faculty

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else”[1]. Organizations comply with ADA by eliminating barriers, such as ramps and automatic doors, and providing accommodations to allow access for people with impairments. ADA compliance also applies to digital content, from websites and videos to slide presentations and documents from a word processor.

To ensure students with disabilities are “able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability[2],” faculty have an important role in producing computer-based instructional materials (websites, Moodle pages, videos, slides and documents) that meet ADA standards for web accessibility. These standards include, but are not limited to: closed captions and transcripts for videos, using software’s text formatting tools, sufficient color contrast, and descriptions for graphics and images. Implementing these standards into the material faculty create could better engage students with impairments and open more educational opportunities.

Faculty Training

One measure toward Oakland University creating an accessible web environment includes "annual training" for anyone "responsible for creating or distributing information with online content to students"[3].

Learning Accessibility and ADA Compliance Training for Faculty

CETL and e-LIS are facilitating training sessions for faculty on how to make their course materials (instructional videos, web resources, slide presentations, and documents) accessible. In order to reach as many faculty as possible, the same session is being offered three times during the Winter 2018 semester and two times during the Summer 2018 semester. All sessions are 12:00-1:30 p.m. and include lunch

OU Resources

  • Digital Accessibility Quick Note - This brief introduction to digital accessibility connects standards to common instructional material: documents, presentations, and web media.
  • Help Docs - Simple guides connecting accessibility standards to course material. Topics include: general quick guide, accessible documents, images, text formatting, captions and transcripts, and color. Created by e-Learning and Instructional Support at OU.
  • Teaching Tips - Teaching strategies, resources and directions for making learning accessible.
  • Universal Design for Learning at OU - Universal Design for Learning (UDL) seeks to design learning environments (i.e. courses, curriculum, activities) that are flexible to students’ strengths, weaknesses, and diverse backgrounds and experiences. Implementing UDL principles can reduce the need for ADA accommodations.
  • Accessibility Efforts and Toolkits - University Technology Services (UTS) guidelines for faculty and other web content managers. It lists general standards for accessibility, from creating documents to captioning videos. e-Learning and Instructional Support’s ADA Help Docs break these items down further.
  • Web and IT Accessibility Guidelines and Procedures - UTS provides the rationale and context for web and IT accessibility efforts at Oakland University. 

Simplified Guides to Accessible Instructional Materials

More Web Accessibility Resources

Who Can Help?

The offices below can provide further advice and resources to faculty seeking to make their learning content as accessible as possible to students. For questions related to this webpage or additional questions, contact Christina Moore (, Dan Arnold ( or Nic Bongers (

Office of Disability Support Services
Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) oversees compliance with ADA in all of its parameters, including the Faculty Notification Letters students distribute to instructors specifying accommodations needed for the student to succeed. DSS can provide guidance on individual class situations and how to work with students.
e-Learning and Instructional Support
e-Learning and Instructional Support (e-LIS) supports Moodle, offers workshops for using instructional technology, and facilitates faculty development programs for teaching online. e-LIS has created Help Docs specific for implementing ADA standards to digital content commonly used among faculty, such as Word docs, slide presentations and instructional videos. e-LIS and CETL offer ADA training sessions for faculty. Faculty can schedule one-on-one appointments with faculty help them check for web accessibility, as well as any other assistance with Moodle page development.
Classroom Support and Instructional Technical Services
Classroom Support and Instructional Technical Services (CSITS) supports technology equipment faculty find in their classroom and provides additional technology to faculty. CSITS can support faculty using assistive technology.
University Technology Services
University Technology Services - UTS is the main group leading ADA compliance efforts across campus. Theresa Rowe, along with her staff, can provide assistance to compliance efforts among schools, departments, and individual faculty.
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) develops faculty development programs related to teaching and learning at Oakland University. CETL and e-LIS offer ADA training sessions for faculty. Faculty can schedule individual or department consultations regarding teaching and learning issues such as ADA compliance regarding instructional web content.

[1] United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. (n.d.) Information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved from

[2] Definition of “accessible” based on settlement agreements from the US Department of Education, as cited by Oakland University’s Web and IT Accessibility Guidelines and Procedures.

[3] See Training section of OU's Web and IT Accessibility Guidelines and Procedures

Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness
The OU Initiative   The Provost’s Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness Initiative at Oakland University has been created to explore and examine best research-based practices for the evaluation of teaching (formative and summative). The goals of this long term project are to:
  • Task Force 1 – Redesigning “Course Evaluations” Develop recommendations using research-based practices in designing and implementing “Student End of Semester Surveys” (currently referred to most frequently as “Course Evaluations”) View list of task force representatives.
  • Task Force 2 – Designing Other Measurements for Teaching Effectiveness Develop recommendations for the use of multiple measures and triangulation of other evidence of teaching effectiveness for formative and summative evaluation. Task force representation to be determined.

Task Force Update (June 2017)


CETL Quick Notes on evaluating teaching, analyzing feedback, and end-of-course student feedback (ESF) surveys