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Faculty Learning Community

In April 2016, the IDEA Shop selected the following faculty members as the first cohort in the Faculty Learning Community for Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning. During fall semester 2016, these faculty will explore the fundamental issues associated with accessibility and the principles of Universal Design for Learning. They’ll meet regularly as a cohort to discuss theses issues and principles, while also working with instructional design consultants from the IDEA Shop to begin planning for addressing accessibility in their courses and for incorporating the principles of Universal Design for Learning into their teaching materials.

  • Shoko Asay, World Languages
  • Patrick Delana, Marketing and Finance
  • Kendall House, Anthropology
  • Jeremy Maxand, Sociology
  • Corinna Provant-Robishaw, Foundational Studies
  • Kerry Rice, Educational Technology
  • Michael Strickland, Literacy, Language, and Culture
  • Jesus Trespalacious, Educational Technology
  • Tom Turco, Community and Environmental Health
  • Jeff Westover, English
  • Katherine Wright, Literacy, Language, and Culture

For more detail about the Faculty Learning Community and its activities, see the Call for Applications, below. If funding is available, a second cohort will be selected in spring semester 2017.


Call for Applications: Faculty Learning Community for Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (Spring 2016)

Overview
In Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug notes that making digital information accessible to everyone is “not just the right thing to do; it’s profoundly the right thing to do.”

Why?

“Because,” Krug says, “the one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?”

Instructional Design and Educational Assessment (IDEA Shop) invites you to join us and a select group of faculty as we work toward dramatically improving the lives of others by doing our jobs a little bit better. Specifically, we invite Boise State faculty to apply to join a Faculty Learning Community focused on exploring accessibility and implementing principles of universal design.

The IDEA Shop’s accessibility initiative focuses on electronic accessibility, particularly in regard to online content and online courses. Our focus is upon the design, development, and delivery of digital materials so that they are available and usable by a widely diverse range of students, including those students with documented disabilities. The IDEA Shop helps faculty and staff better serve all students through the principles of universal design for learning, an approach that seeks to ensure all products and environments are as accessible and useful as possible, regardless of a learner’s age, ability, or situation.

In pursuit of these goals, faculty will participate in the Faculty Learning Community as a cohort, completing the following activities:

  • Complete an online seminar, “Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Courses,” which focuses on universal design, accessibility, and assistive technology. The seminar includes a number of assigned readings, online discussions, and a culminating activity in which faculty will create a plan for redesigning some aspect of a course to make it more accessible. The seminar is conducted asynchronously and should take 8 to 12 hours to complete. Redesigning some aspect of the course will take place after the seminar.
  • As schedules allow, attend 60- and 90-minute webinars scheduled throughout spring and fall semesters in 2016.
  • Attend four or five mandatory cohort meetings, with one to be held in late spring semester 2016 and the rest in fall semester 2016. Specific dates and times will be announced at a later date. During these meetings, the cohort members will share ideas, address challenges, and provide mutual support. All meetings will be facilitated by the IDEA Shop’s instructional design consultants and Faculty Associate for Accessibility.
  • Meet during spring semester 2016 or summer 2016 with an instructional design consultant from the IDEA Shop (alternatively, with the IDEA Shop Faculty Associate for Accessibility) to create a list of desired outcomes for participation in the cohort, including a prioritized list of revisions to the design and delivery of one course. In spring semester 2017, faculty may elect to begin working toward some or all of those outcomes, which collectively comprise a plan for incorporating accessibility and universal design into the course. For example, one faculty member may elect to work on captioning videos used in the course, while another faculty member may choose to create accessible PDF documents from existing Word documents.
  • Respond to a preliminary survey upon being accepted into the cohort and produce a brief  completion report at the end of fall semester 2016.

Objectives
The Faculty Learning Community is designed to provide participating faculty with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the following:

  • Describe the differences between accessibility and the principles of universal design for learning.
  • Apply the principles of universal design to build accessible online courses and accessible digital teaching materials..
  • Promote the principles of universal design in support of making learning, connecting, and sharing at Boise State available to everyone.
  • Advocate for teacher and administrator awareness and training to ensure that policies and practices and the development of digital teaching materials are congruent with the principles of universal design for learning.
  • Explain the rationale for Boise State’s efforts to ensure accessibility and to develop courses and curriculum based on the principles of universal design for learning.
  • Conduct a self-assessment of one’s current digital teaching materials to determine how accessible they are.
  • Conduct a self-assessment of one’s teaching practices and course design to determine the extent to which both are grounded in the principles of universal design for learning.
  • Develop a plan by which to improve accessibility and incorporate the principles of universal design for learning into practices, methods, materials, and course design.

Eligibility
All Boise State instructors, including adjuncts, lecturers, and tenure-track faculty, are eligible to apply to participate.

Financial Support
Each participant in the Faculty Learning Community will receive a stipend of $600, paid as supplemental salary.

Application Process
To apply, download and complete this application form. NOTE: The form is an MS-Word document. It cannot be completed online. Please download it and open it in MS-Word. Submit the completed form to Grace Lazenby, IDEA Shop, Riverfront Hall 313, Mail Stop 1420, gracelazenby@boisestate.edu, no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, April 8, 2016.

Sponsorship
This program is supported and funded by the IDEA Shop, a division of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Questions?
Please direct any questions to Kevin Wilson, instructional design consultant, IDEA Shop, kwilson@boisestate.edu (phone: 208.426.4260).