Perceptible Information and Use in Multimodal Assignments

The Universal Design principle of perceptible information and use will ensure that multimodal assignments communicate “necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.” According to the Center for Universal Design, this means using “different modes (pictorial, verbal, tactile) for redundant presentation of essential information” and providing “adequate contrast between essential information and its surroundings.” For multimodal assignments, this might include:

  • Providing assignment instructions in multiple formats. For instance, assignment instructions might be presented orally in class in addition to textually in an assignment sheet;
  • Providing lecture information in multiple formats. For instance, in addition to orally delivered lectures, the information might also be offered in presentation slides or readings;
  • Calling attention to key aspects of the assignment, using verbal emphasis, font styles, symbols, and visual contrast to showcase what is most important;
  • Ensuring that composing tools have accessible (multimodal) user guides, which includes video/audio tutorials having transcripts, documents/websites being accessible to screen readers, and information being available in more than one format; and
  • Requiring students to communicate in multiple modes for group work or peer review. For instance, in addition to offering peer reviews in written form, students can also discuss feedback orally (or record feedback in an audio file).


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