Elevate student voice and choice through UDL

As elementary educators, we are tasked with building core knowledge and skills in our students that will allow them to grow into thoughtful, creative, critical thinkers. By building voice and choice into our curriculum, we can enhance self-confidence, build self-efficacy, and promote community and collaboration among our youngest learners.

This course will help teachers understand how to use Universal Design for Learning to promote voice and choice in their classrooms. Participants will explore the principles of UDL, and dive into tips, techniques, and strategies on how to promote motivation, understanding, and self-expression in students with diverse backgrounds and diverse learning needs while meeting rigorous educational standards.

Course Details

This is a facilitated online course that will run from September 30 – November 24, 2019. This course will consist of eight modules. You may complete the modules and work on your own time but must pass in assignments by their due dates.

Instructor: Kathy Thibodeau, M.Ed.

Cost: $445 for 36 contact hours
(3 graduate credits may be obtained for an additional fee of $225)

($20 discount per enrollment available to schools/districts that enroll 3 or more educators. Please contact Lindie Johnson at lindie@novakeducation.com for details.)

This course is equivalent to 3.6 CEUs and 36 contact hours. All participants who receive a grade of C or better will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course.

Graduate credit may be obtained for this course for an additional $225 through Gordon College. To obtain this credit, please follow the instructions here. The course code for this course is ECD630 and it will be listed under the Fall Term. Graduate credit must be obtained prior to the beginning of the course.


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Course Objectives

Learners will understand what it means to be “future-ready” and ready for next-generation success.

Learners will understand the three UDL principles and the UDL Guidelines and how the implementation of UDL provides students in elementary classrooms with opportunities to build next-generation skills.

Learners will understand how to optimize student voice and choice through authentic feedback opportunities.

Learners will create universally designed learning experiences for students or for their own professional practice to optimize expert learning.

Learners will design standards-based lessons that eliminate barriers to access and engagement.

Course Requirements

This course requires participants to be engaged and prepared for each and every assignment. 

The course will be offered fully online yet students will have the opportunity to communicate with fellow participants 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 expected to participate in three UDL-focused discussions with other members of the class and submit four projects.

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

About Your Instructor

Kathy Thibodeau

Kathy Thibodeau, M.Ed.

Kathy Thibodeau is a retired elementary teacher who taught for 27 years. She has taught kindergarten, third, and fifth grade. She has a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Creative Arts and Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

Kathy’s knowledge, passion, and application of the arts in teaching, which includes poetry, movement, music, visual art & drama, alongside UDL best practices, allows students to express their knowledge of Common Core standards in unconventional ways. Kathy taught all subject areas with enthusiasm while keeping in mind the diverse learning needs of all students.

In her spare time, Kathy enjoys cooking, photography, horseback riding, kayaking, music, gardening, and traveling. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, dog (Maxi), 3 children & spouses, as well as her 6 grandchildren, 2 granddogs, & 2 grandcats.


Enrollment for the Fall 2019 session is now open.


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