Incorporating Strategy Instruction in Assignment Design to Remove Barriers to Writing Assignments in Philosophy

Kristin Rodier, Deanna Fidelak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In early 2020, there was a faculty development workshop at MacEwan University on how to design philosophy writing assignments with fewer barriers commonly experienced by students with disabilities. This chapter streamlines the workshop and surveys barriers common to philosophy assignment guidelines: length, jargon, single-format, and a “don'ts” section. The authors contextualize these characteristics within the values, norms, and practices of academic philosophy. They present a case study of transforming Rodier's introductory philosophy guidelines before and after a UDL consult with Fidelak. They demonstrate the reasoning behind the transformation, including specific UDL applications and incorporating techniques from academic strategy instruction that address the hidden curriculum. In addition, they outline changes to in-class teaching that support students in completing assignments.
Original languageCanadian English
Title of host publicationHandbook of Applying Research on Universal Design for Learning Across Disciplines
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Case Studies, and Practical Implementation
EditorsFrederic Fovet
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781799871064
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Universal Design for Learning
  • philosophy
  • writing assignment
  • assessment design
  • strategy instruction


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