Universal Design in First-Year Composition: Why Do We Need It, How Can We Do It?

Authors

  • Danielle Nielsen Murray State University

Keywords:

first-year composition, universal design for learning

Abstract

Ensuring that all students can access information, demonstrate mastery, and feel comfortable in the classroom is important, yet first-year composition faculty may find reaching the diverse populations in their classrooms daunting. Learning styles, comfort levels with writing and English language skills, disabilities, and family life impact all students, leaving us to wonder how best to facilitate student success. This essay, in taking up the question of universal student success, explores Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the first-year composition classroom and its benefits to both students and teachers. I first define Universal Design for Learning and then attend briefly to contemporary English studies research on UDL. I analyze different ways I integrate it in my FYC course; then, I discuss some of the complications instructors may encounter trying to implement these strategies.

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Published

2013-12-20