How can UDL help you reach all students?

As a teacher, you are faced with educating students – each with his or her own unique mix of strengths and weaknesses – in a single classroom. Inclusiveness brings social justice and equity to our schools, but it also requires that we change the way we educate and remove barriers to learning so all students have equal opportunity.

This introductory UDL course will provide opportunities for PK-12 practitioners to personalize their UDL implementation experience. The goal of this course is to give all educators the foundation to be able to proactively design lessons that support and challenge all students, regardless of variability. 

Each module will include a variety of materials to increase the options of representation and increase engagement throughout the course. Additionally, there will be numerous options for action and expression so all course assignments are relevant, authentic, meaningful and aligned to educator practice.

Course Details

This is a facilitated online course that will run from April 27 – June 21, 2020. This course will consist of eight asynchronous online modules.

Instructor: Zach Smith

Cost: $445 for 36 contact hours (3.6 CEUs). Graduate credit (3 credits) may be obtained for this course for an additional $225 through Gordon College.

($25 discount per enrollment available to schools/districts that enroll 3 or more educators. Please contact Lindie Johnson at for details.)

All participants who receive a grade of C or better will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course. Those who pay the additional fee to Gordon College will also receive 3 graduate level credits. Contact Lindie Johnson at details and instructions for obtaining graduate credit.

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Course Objectives

Educators will understand and be able to incorporate the fundamental concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the design of standards-based lessons, units, and assessments that consistently engage students in learning experiences.

Educators will create learning experiences that guide students to identify their strengths, interests, and needs, help them to problem-solve, ask for support when appropriate, take academic risks, and challenge themselves to learn.

Educators will create routines and products to provide descriptive feedback to students, engage them in constructive conversation, and empower them to seek feedback that focuses on how students can improve their performance.

Course Requirements

This course is offered online through eight online asynchronous weekly modules. Students can complete activities and assignments on their own time but should be mindful of assignment deadlines. 

Students will have the opportunity to communicate with fellow participants and the course instructor through Canvas discussion boards. Participants will be expected to pass in work by the due date, but will also be given the opportunity to revise and improve upon their work (just as students in their class should be given the same respect using the UDL framework).

All students must create a Canvas account and login to view modules and assignments.  All assignments must be submitted electronically through Canvas. All assignments can be resubmitted for feedback and grading up until the last day of the course.

Students will be provided with regular feedback and rubrics to help them determine how they will be assessed throughout the course.

About Your Instructor

Zach Smith

Zach Smith

Zach Smith was born and raised in Fresno, California. Growing up in with siblings with disabilities, Zach saw first hand the impact of exclusionary instructional practices. After graduating from Fresno State, he started his career as a special education teacher for 8 years in Sanger Unified (a small rural district outside of Fresno). Over the next years, he co-led the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for all teachers in Sanger. Zach has extensive knowledge in UDL; presenting, coaching, planning, and building organizational capacity around this initiative. Beginning in the fall of 2019, Zach started a new chapter in his professional journey as a student in Harvard’s Doctorate of Education Leadership program in Cambridge Massachusetts. Zach, lives with his wife and best friend Dorothy, as well as their four daughters, Grace (8), Amy (6), Isabella (3), and Sydney(1). Zach is a passionate advocate for the power of inclusion to revolutionize the way teachers teach and being paramount for closing achievement gaps.


We would love to have you join us! Click below to register and enroll in UDL Now! with Zach Smith. 


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