Follow Up Friday: UDL Part 2

March 11, 2022

Online Teaching Highlight: UDL Part 2

Following up on our Monday Blog Post introducing what Universal Design for Learning is, we wanted to highlight a concrete step you could take today to start implementing UDL changes to your online course. The Monday Blog got us started with pointing out a couple tools that are at your disposal to help you assess the accessibility of your Canvas course site and a self-enroll course to learn more about UDL. Now we want to examine one piece of the guide for you to consider as you plan how to better implement this guide into aspects of your course design. Please note that the UDL Guide is meant to be comprehensive and therefore it can feel overwhelming as you click through the guide. Do not let yourself be discouraged as you become familiar with the guide.An image of the UDL Guide.

For today, you can already make changes by addressing Standard 8.4: Increase Mastery-oriented Feedback using Canvas Speedgrader (if you need a refresher on Speedgrader, check out our Quick Hits demonstration).

Feedback that focuses on enabling learners to master the content should strive for the following points:

  1. Provide feedback that encourages perseverance, focuses on development of efficacy and self-awareness, and encourages the use of specific supports and strategies in the face of challenge.
  2. Provide feedback that emphasizes effort, improvement, and achieving a standard rather than on relative performance.
  3. Provide feedback that is frequent, timely, and specific.
  4. Provide feedback that is substantive and informative rather than comparative or competitive.
  5. Provide feedback that models how to incorporate evaluation, including identifying patterns of errors and wrong answers, into positive strategies for future success (CAST, 2018)

What could these bullet points look like in practice? Use Speedgrader to annotate or leave comments that:

  • Highlight what worked well in the submission. (Points 1, 2, and 4)
    • What strengths do you see? Or what potential is there? What improvements have you noticed between the current submission and the previous one?
      • Mentioning specific and identifiable successes of the submission will help learners feel that they can handle the work, even if they need to drastically improve their submissions.
  • Identify what aspect of the submission missed the target and briefly explain why. (3, 4, and 5)
    • What specifically did the submission fall short on? Why did this submission not reach what you were expecting?
      • Now your feedback is now becoming substantive and be explaining how you are evaluating the submission, you are scaffolding how they ought to think about their submission, ideally, prior to submitting the next one.
  • Describe concrete steps they can take to improve on the next submission (1, 3, and 5)
    • What are the specific changes they can make for the next submission?
      • Lastly, your feedback will explain to your learners how they can improve their work and it provides strategies for executing that improvement.
  • Lastly, your feedback should be
    • timely – within seven days of the initial deadline
    • frequent/consistent – some amount of feedback that follows this pattern for as many assignments as possible. As the course goes on, you will likely pare down the amount to really focus on key issues.


CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from

Upcoming Live Training

Workshop Wednesday: Accessibility

  • If you’re interested in improving course accessibility, whether teaching online or F2F, this workshop will offer two resources that can help: a short checklist for accessibility standards in Canvas, and COFFEE: Accessibility, an online faculty development course.
  • Participants will learn about elements in the accessibility checklist and get an overview of COFFEE: Accessibility.
  • Facilitated by Digital Learning Strategist Sharyn Emery, PhD, who is also the COFFEE facilitator.
  • Register here to join Sharyn on Wednesday, March 16th, from 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm.

Special Edition Quick Hits: Lightboard Livestream

  • Join this Special Edition Quick Hits to learn how you can easily make impactful and dynamic recorded lectures for your students. In this live demonstration of Clemson Online’s Lightboard system, we will share what Lightboard is, how you can use it to create impactful lectures for the key difficult concepts of your course, and how easy it is for you to schedule a Lightboard recording session.
  • This Quick Hits is open to all but is especially relevant for anyone instructing students in an online or F2F setting.
  • So, join us as our Video Production Manager, Dallas Lenderman facilitates a brief live demonstration, and we answer your questions.
  • Register here to join us on Thursday, March 17th from 3:30 – 4:00 PM.

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