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Getting started with UDL for open, flexible, and distance learning

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Event description

Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand’s National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, has developed a free self-directed course on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for educators who are new to UDL or would like to brush up on their knowledge. The purpose of the course is to support educators in putting UDL into practice. It’s a step-by-step introduction to UDL, where the UDL principles are ‘unpacked’ and discussed, with examples, activities, and resources.

In this interactive session, the course creators, Annette van Lamoen and Michael Grawe, will showcase UDL practices that are well suited for open, flexible, and distance learning contexts and give participants the chance to explore these practices. Dive into the world of UDL with us and continue your journey after this session through the Ako course.

Session facilitators

Profile picture of Annette van Lamoen

Annette van Lamoen, MEd (Hons.), has a background in working with high-needs learners. She was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, where she lectured and tutored in adult literacy education and dyslexia.  She was the Manager of New Zealand's National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults and now works for Ako Aotearoa as a Professional Learning and Development Consultant. She is passionate about supporting educators and, by extension, their learners. 

Profile picture of Michael Grawe

Michael Grawe, MA, is an experienced educator and is the Professional Learning Manager for Pathways Awarua (based in Aotearoa New Zealand), where his focus is on literacy and numeracy education. With a Master's Degree in American Literature, Media Studies, and Teaching, Michael has dedicated over 20 years to the education sector, both in Aotearoa and abroad. He has a diverse background, having worked in various roles such as ESOL, Kaiako for Business & Computing, and Advisor for Literacy and Numeracy at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Michael has also made significant contributions as a resource developer, facilitator and professional learning consultant at Ako Aotearoa, hosted by Massey University. As part of his work at Pathways Awarua, he has presented at several conferences, showcasing his expertise and insights on effective literacy and numeracy instruction. Passionate about learner success and whānau transformation through education, Michael understands the power of education in driving positive change. He has been instrumental in supporting the professional development of educators and empowering learners to achieve their goals. With his wealth of experience and dedication to educational excellence, he continues to make a significant impact in the field of literacy and numeracy education.


This event is organised as part of the Asia-Pacific Online and Distance Education Week (APODE) by Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ) and Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA). Globally, we partner with EDEN Digital Learning Europe who will be holding the European Open and Digital Learning Week (EODLW) together with the Coimbra Group Education Innovation and Doctoral Studies Working Groups and the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), who will be holding its National Distance Learning Week (NDLW).

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