The book cover for Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone. The book is white with black and orange text and an image of a person looking at a tablet and writing in a notebook. The accompanying text reads "Book of the Month: Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone"

Book of the Month: Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone

Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (2018). 
By Dr. Thomas Tobin and Kirsten Behling. Published by West Virginia University Press. 

There has been a lot of discussion in higher education about the changing nature of our students and the challenges they face. Equity and inclusion approaches, digital learning, accessibility legislation, neurodivergence… it seems like the list of topics that instructors need to be aware of keeps growing. Even more pressing is the question of how instructors can translate these discussions into effective changes to their teaching without chucking out well-worn syllabi entirely and starting from scratch. 

Luckily, Dr. Thomas Tobin (teaching, learning & technology specialist) and Kirsten Behling (student accessibility expert) have already written the book that lays out a practical pathway to addressing the accessibility and learning needs of our changing students through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) methods that “benefit all learners.” Based on cognitive science and learning research conducted by the Center for Applied Special Technology in the 80s and 90s, UDL strives to transform all students, regardless of their diverse needs, into expert learners. 

Tobin and Behling’s 2019 Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone provided faculty and student services professionals a flexible guidebook to not only begin to apply UDL guidelines, but also be able to scale them up. Don’t believe it?  Table 1 in the book is a “suggested first-read chart” that maps out which chapters to read if you an instructor, student services provider, faculty support professional, or a campus leader. 

Adopt a Plus-One Approach

Whether you want to read up on the history of how universal design got to higher education or jump straight to Chapter 4’s UDL in the Next 20 Minutes, 20 Days or 20 Months, this book offers up research, case studies, and classroom examples in manageable chunks while always focusing back on the context of meeting student needs.  The authors encourage educators to adopt a Plus-One Approach that makes adding UDL an iterative process: 

“Is there just one more way that you can help learners keep on track, just one more way that you could give them information, just one more way that they could demonstrate their skills?” 

If you don’t know where to start with UDL or even how it’s possible to keep up with the changing needs of our students, try reading just one book, Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. 

James Martin

You can find this book in our TCDC library! Visit us on the second floor of the C-Building at C201 or email us at