Equitable UDL Policies

Thanks for checking out my teaching resources! You’re free to use anything here, and I just ask that you credit me by citing my materials (APA citation below).


As teachers, we’re always trying to design our classes to make our classes accessible to all students. Here are some policies I’ve implemented in my classes that make learning equitable. I’ve copied the policies directly from my syllabus to show you the language I use. Again, please use or adapt as you like with a citation of my materials (APA citation below).

Extension Policy:

I understand that you might have circumstances that prevent you from submitting work on time. Therefore, I have created an extension policy to acknowledge the institutional barriers that keep students from being successful in school. Please do not hesitate to send me a message through Canvas to request an extension if you need it. Please follow these guidelines to request an extension:

  • Message me in Canvas your extension request before midnight of the assignment due date (Note: if you send me a request at night, I won’t see it right away, but I will still honor the request as long as it is made before midnight on the due date, and I will respond the next day).
  • Indicate which assignment you need the extension for.
  • Indicate how long you need me to extend the due date.

I will try my best to honor all extension requests, and there is no need to feel embarrassed about making this request. Note that I do not ask you to explain the reason you need the extension in your request. I find that the act of explaining the reason for an extension can stop a student for making the request in the first place, so I am not requiring an explanation. With that said, I am also completely willing to listen and be empathetic if you choose to share why you need an extension. Just know that you don’t have to try to convince me since I will make extensions with no judgement as to whether or not your reason is “valid.”

These are the extensions that I am less likely to make:

  • An extension request made after the assignment due date. It can be difficult for me to anticipate and manage my grading load effectively if I receive unexpected extension requests after the assignment has closed. This doesn’t mean that I will necessarily reject an extension request made after an assignment has closed, but in this case, I will need an explanation for why you were not able to make the request before the due date. I will be using my discretionary judgement as to whether I can grant extension requests made after midnight of the assignment due date. Again, extension requests made before midnight of the due date will be granted and do not require an explanation/reason for the request.
  • An extension request for an extended due date that is too far past the original due date or too many extension requests. My concern here is that this will put you too far behind to get caught up or create a domino effect that keeps you perpetually behind. In this case, I will work with you to balance giving you extra time to complete assignments without jeopardizing your success with future assignments.

Flexible Attendance Policy:

I recognize that structural barriers may prevent you from attending class sessions, so I do not include attendance as part of your grade. If you need to miss class, please find the make-up work in the module item titled “Class Material” for that day in Canvas.

However, my hope is that your learning in this course will be rich and rewarding, and I have found that this outcome is more likely with your engaged presence in class sessions where we can all gather in a common, anti-oppressive space. In other words, please make every attempt to attend these classes. Your presence and participation is valued and necessary.

Although there is no way to completely replace the in-person/virtual part of the course with asynchronous online learning, I have considered supports that will help mitigate the effects of an absence and ask that you follow this process if you miss a class session.

  1. Carefully review the “Class Materials” in the Canvas modules for the day you are absent. These modules may include lecture notes, videos shown in class, supplemental readings, etc.
  2. Make sure that you submit the “Writing Reflection on Class Materials” that corresponds to each class session (those who attend the in/person/virtual class will get credit for participating in class activities and will not be required to submit a Writing Reflection on Class Materials in Canvas). 
  3. After reviewing all class materials, assignments, and doing all the required readings, reach out to me with specific questions you might have. Please do not ask general questions like “What did I miss?” since this has either been covered in the “Class materials” module item or involved class activities or discussions that cannot be replicated. Here’s an example of a specific question you might ask: “In the essay assignment you asked us to preview, you said that we need at least one secondary source and listed some options. I was hoping to use ____ instead. Would that work as a secondary source?”
  4. If you feel your absences have resulted in a loss of significant writing instruction, please schedule either an in-person or virtual appointment with a Page One tutor to receive support in going over writing assignments, brainstorming topics, creating outlines, reviewing drafts, etc.

Ma, D. (2022, Nov. 11). Equitable UDL Policies.  
     Dianamaauthor.com. https://dianamaauthor.com/ 
%d bloggers like this: