How Can Backward Design Make My Courses More Accessible?

How Can Backward Design Make My Courses More Accessible?

Create more accessible college courses

One of the greatest challenges educators face in removing barriers to learning is addressing their own assumptions about teaching practices, products, and demonstration of learning.

With more than one out of 10 college and university students dealing with a disability, you are likely to encounter students who have difficulty seeing, hearing, reading, following, and physically handling assignments.

Itís your responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, and backward design can help. Learn all about it in How Can Backward Design Make My Courses More Accessible?

This program is also part of the Universal Design 4-pack.


Backward design, in which you plan a course by defining your end goals before developing course content, is an extremely effective tool in supporting accessibility. The program presenter will show you how to:

  • Respond to the three key questions of backward design
  • Use summative and creative products for demonstration of learning
  • Build flexibility into assignments to support accessibility
  • Factor course context into your goal-setting

Focusing on what you want students to get out of your course, through backward design, will help you develop creative and accessible assignments that help all students, whether or not they have a disability.†

How Can Backward Design Make My Courses More Accessible? will help you improve your teaching and make your course more accessible by asking you to answer two key questions:

  • What do students need to spend their time on in order to meet my courseís learning goals?
  • How can I give all students an equitable opportunity to do that?

Learning Goals

This Magna 20 Minute Mentor addresses comprehension, application, and synthesis. After viewing course design program, youíll be able to:

  • Describe the process of backward design
  • Employ backward design to develop accessible assignments
  • Design alternative methods for demonstration of learning

Topics Covered

This fast and focused session goes on to describe and demonstrate a process for giving students more accessible assignments, which enhances student learning and reduces the need for accommodations. Youíll explore:

  • Effective ways to give students choice about the course products they develop
  • Guidelines for assessing multiple products
  • Examples of flexible demonstration of learning
  • Respectful methods to discuss accommodations with students who have a disability


How Can Backward Design Make My Courses More Accessible? is a conceptual and practical session, geared for educators who want to make a difference with their teaching. If youíre a new faculty member or developing a course for the first time, this program is perfect for you.


Why struggle to make accommodations for students with disabilities and spend time removing barriers to learning when you can get things right the first time with backward design?

Like all Magna 20 Minute Mentors, this program was developed by and for busy professionals. In less time than it might take you to explain complicated assignments, youíll learn how to build accessibility into your courses.

Product Code: PM13NA