Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(248) 370-2751

OU Teaching Initiatives

Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (or UDL) promotes opportunities to increase access and reduce barriers to learning in order to enhance student success for all learners. UDL is both a philosophical belief that all students should have increased opportunities to be successful learners and a set of principles and guidelines for implementation. UDL is supported and implemented in K-12 and universities across the nation.

The OU Initiative   A UDL Initiative Team at Oakland University is exploring ways in which UDL principles can become part of OU's institutional and classroom culture. This UDL initiative promotes student success through diverse and inclusive practices. The team comprises of faculty and students from different schools and staff from academic and student affairs, office of diversity and inclusion, and technology services. View the team list.

OU Resources
Quick Notes are your brief visual guide to best practices, university processes, and other good-to-know aspects of helping students succeed.

Quick NotesWorkshop Materials
Teaching Strategies for Each UDL Principle

Benefits to Learner Groups

FDI Materials

Teaching Tips

External Resources

Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness
The OU Initiative   The Provost’s Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness Initiative at Oakland University has been created to explore and examine best research-based practices for the evaluation of teaching (formative and summative). The goals of this long term project are to:
  • Task Force 1 – Redesigning “Course Evaluations” Develop recommendations using research-based practices in designing and implementing “Student End of Semester Surveys” (currently referred to most frequently as “Course Evaluations”) View list of task force representatives.
  • Task Force 2 – Designing Other Measurements for Teaching Effectiveness Develop recommendations for the use of multiple measures and triangulation of other evidence of teaching effectiveness for formative and summative evaluation. Task force representation to be determined.
Task Force Update (Dec 2016)

Download the update to read these points and more on current evaluation practices at OU and research on evaluating teaching effectiveness.

TASK FORCE 1, meeting twice a month in 2016-2017, is comprised of faculty from each school and college, staff and a student representative. Co-chaired by Judy Ableser (CETL Director) and Susan Awbrey (Senior Associate Provost).

INITIATIVE TASKS   This is a long-term project (3-5 years based on other institution’s experiences) that will require ongoing conversations to enhance our teaching culture and the development and implementation of our recommendations.  The following are actions to date (end of Fall 2016).

  • Meetings with Provost, Senior Associate Provost and Director CETL (2014- ongoing)
  • Review of literature and collected information from a wide range of other institutions
  • Faculty Focus Group (Winter 2016) – Group was unaware of the broad range of surveys and ways in which they were being used across campus. The group supported moving forward to redesign how we assess teaching effectiveness at OU.
  • Chair Survey (Summer 2016)
  • Task Force 1 meeting twice a month in (Fall 2016-Winter 2016)
  • CETL workshops (Fall 2016)
  • Chair Forum, Student Forum (Fall 2016)
  • CETL Quick Notes and resources on web (Fall 2016)
  • Explaining Initiative to committees (Deans’ Council, Academic Council, Chairs, TLC)


  1. Determine name of survey for OU – tentative “End-of-Course Student Feedback” survey.
  2. Create a survey that includes both campus-wide questions and additional questions customized by schools, departments, individual faculty, and online.
  3. Design survey to include both “rating” questions and comments.
  4. Set consistent “rating” scale – 1-5 with 5 being the highest/top rating.
  5. Design survey to include campus-wide questions about instructor, instruction, format (e.g. online), course and student demographics.
  6. Develop a system that includes a “contextual narrative” where faculty can respond to survey with brief explanation of results (e.g. new method used, switched to online, much larger class size than usual).
  7. Distribute ESF surveys online with a plan to increase online response rates (e.g. for face-to-face classes, students have time in class to complete online survey, reminders sent out, survey open for 7-10 days).


  • Develop campus-wide questions.
  • Explore online systems.
  • Develop review procedure.
  • Develop implementation plan.
  • Develop system to select customizable questions.


CETL Quick Notes on evaluating teaching, analyzing feedback, and end-of-course student feedback (ESF) surveys