Equitable UDL Policies

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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 credit to my website as the source.

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 try my best to honor these 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 their reason for the 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 every attempt to grant your request with no judgement as to whether or not your reason is “valid.”

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.

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