Jean Marrapodi - Universal Design for Learning: Applications for eLearning and Beyond

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    5418 Wayzata Boulevard
    Golden Valley, MN 55416
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Program Detail

One-size-fits-all eLearning may not meet all learners’ needs. We try to accommodate the Section 508 regulations, with labeled pictures and transcripts, but there's much more to consider to design for all. How can we design eLearning and our training programs to reduce barriers and meet the needs of all learners?

According to the Center for Excellence in Universal Design, "Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. An environment (or any building, product, or service in that environment) should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. This is not a special requirement, for the benefit of only a minority of the population. It is a fundamental condition of good design. If an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone benefits. By considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services and environments that meet peoples' needs. Simply put, universal design is good design." Retrieved from

Leveraging the principles of Universal Design in learning allows us to put processes in place so that everyone is able to access our learning. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) extends the model of ADA and Section 508 compliance and considers the experienced learner who may want to explore more, as well as the ESL learner who may need additional scaffolding to be successful for course completion.

In this workshop we will consider the seven principles of UDL, and discuss three element of our learning: representation (the WHAT of learning), action and expression (the HOW of learning) and engagement (the WHY of learning) and examine ways we can incorporate the principles of UDL into our existing frameworks.

In the end, learners will:
1. Recognize that our current learning may not be as inclusive as we think it is.
2. Identify ways to expand existing learning material to provide choices for learners in receptive and expressive paths
3. Create learning material that adheres to the principles of Universal Design for Learning

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About Jean Marrapodi

Jean Marrapodi is a pioneering problem solver, leveraging technology to create sticky learning. She became the first Certified Professional in Learning and Performance in New England (CPLP) ATD’s highest credential, and has a PhD in Adult Education, along with a Masters Degree in Online Instructional Design. With 16 years in corporate training in banking, retail, printing, healthcare and non-profits, then 5 in higher education, she understands trends and needs in a variety of industries. Jean is a nationally known conference speaker, sharing her passion to develop others in the learning and development space. Jean works as a transformative leader, nurturing the team that won the 2014 Silver Brandon Hall Award for Best Learning Team, and in that same year, the United States Distance Learning Association’s Best Learning Program. Most recently Jean was named a Guild Master by The eLearning Guild at Learning Solutions 2016 Conference & Expo. She works as a Senior eLearning Designerat Illumina Interactive, and lives in Providence, RI, with three cats, and a mischievous pooch named Casanova.