Equitable Use in Multimodal Assignments

The Universal Design principle of equitable use¬†will ensure that students of diverse abilities (and students with disabilities) can complete multimodal assignments and meet the associated student learning outcomes. According to the Center for Universal Design, this means offering pathways to success that are “identical whenever possible; equivalent when not” and “Provisions for privacy, security, and safety should be equally available to all users.” For multimodal assignments, this might include:

  • Creating open-ended assignment criteria¬†that do not require special accommodations for some students. For instance,
    • instead of requiring an oral presentation of the multimodal composition, require a presentation, and
    • instead of requiring students to engage specific modes, require them to use multiple modes.
  • Using accessible media/media tools designed with disabled audiences in mind. This means choosing composing tools that adhere to the principles of Universal Design to minimize the necessity of assistive technologies add-ons.
    • However, if a student prefers an assistive technology add-on, please allow them to use it;
    • If a student needs assistive technology add-ons, please help them acquire one (or consult with disability services to acquire one); and
    • If accessible technologies nor assistive technologies add-ons are not available, redesign the assignment for equity.
  • Requiring students to create accessible multimodal compositions, especially if the multimodal assignment sequence includes peer review and/or presentations. This will work to ensure that all students can participate and benefit from the peer review and/or presentation process.


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