Jeffrey Zeidel’s Portfolio
Prior to joining the Dawson 2019 UDL Cohort, I had limited knowledge to what Universal Design for Learning was. It was my first full-time post during the day and I wanted to get my toes wet. I decided that I had nothing to lose and I entered the world of UDL.
In physical education, like many other disciplines, we have students that are entering into Dawson with a wide range of knowledge. Students graduating from high school are not entering into CEGEP with the same base knowledge as they would have for mathematics, sciences, French or English. There are no provincial or standardized tests that students must complete before entering the college. The result is, a box of chocolate, “you never know what you’re gonna get”.
With all groups being so unique I found myself teaching to only a portion of the student body leaving the rest behind. It was either you pick up the pace or you will fall behind. This was not fair to my students nor was it fair to me.
I decided to take action and focus my attention towards UDL to build a more inclusive environment and pedagogy for my students. Rather than beginning with one specific course title, I decided to focus on implementing various strategies and teaching tools to all my courses.
The objective of said tools and strategies were to:
- Reduce the obstacles in learning
- Increase student engagement
- Provide more options to students
With an interest in technology I began reformatting my courses to be:
- Easily accessible
- More engaging
- More inclusive
I cannot say for certain due to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic but I believe my strategies implemented into my courses have leveled the playing field and will continue to do so as there is so much work we can do. This project is only one stage of the journey, there are plenty of more stages to reach before I get to the end.