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Learning Experience Designer for Accessibility

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI,US

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should include salary requirements, address your specific interest in the position, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Note: This is a 5-year term limited position with the possibility of renewal depending on funding.
Job Summary

The Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan is seeking a qualified Learning Experience Designer for Accessibility. The Learning Experience Designer for Accessibility works closely with learning experience designers, design managers, media designers, and researchers to support the development of extraordinary courses and learning experiences. The role and responsibility of this position will be accessibility focused and will serve as the primary resource within the Center for Academic Innovation (AI) for finding pedagogical and technological solutions towards making our educational offerings and tools accessible to our constituents. The role will further improve student learning in multiple instructional modalities (e.g., online, hybrid, and residential), with a specific emphasis on Universal Design for Learning principles (i.e., multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, and multiple means of engagement). The core functions of this position are supporting learning experience design, providing accessibility-focused consultations across the Center, and creating professional development opportunities to support the creation of accessible instructional materials by faculty and staff.

The ideal candidate for this position will have worked in a team environment, has experience in instructional design in higher education, has a passion for improving access to education, and has a desire to explore and research how technology can be used to transform education at scale. This role will work within a fast-paced environment to develop instructional materials for MOOCs, online degree programs, blended learning experiences, and other digital education environments that are aimed at unlocking new educational opportunities and enabling personalized, engaged, and lifelong learning for the U-M community and learners around the world.
Who We Are

The Center for Academic Innovation is a strategic priority for the University of Michigan. Through curricular innovation, tools for learning, and educational data and research, the center aims to shape the future of learning and redefine the role of the public research university by extending academic excellence, expanding public purpose, and ending educational privilege.

Our preferred future includes:

An open model for pre-college learning and preparation that broadens access and enhances participation
A personalized, rigorous, and inclusive model for residential learning grounded in learning analytics and experimentation
A flexible and networked model for global and lifelong learning that embraces the evolution of a more permeable university
A participatory and inclusive model for public engagement that accelerates bilateral knowledge construction and sharing

As we reimagine the global public research university and create a culture of innovation in learning, we value:

Boldness and humility
Creativity and process
Risk taking and tradition
Personalization and scale

Diversity, Equity and InclusionLearning and working in environments designed for equity and inclusivity are necessary for the U-M community to make progress on solving the problems that matter most to society. In addition to collaborating with faculty and staff on projects that explicitly focus on DEI, the Center for Academic Innovation uses inclusive design processes in all of our work. All interested applicants, including those from groups historically underrepresented in higher education, are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit our website: Academic Innovation.

Course Design and Development

Collaborate with Learning Experience Designers, Design Managers, Media Specialists, and researchers to design and evaluate high-quality online and hybrid courses
Apply Universal Design for Learning methods and learning theories to the design of learner-centered courses and programs
Ensure that course design, activities, and resources comply with accessibility standards and requirements (e.g., WCAG 2.0)
Develop learner personas for primary and secondary audiences, ensuring that diverse groups of learners are represented
Create or modify graphics to ensure that they are optimized for readability (e.g., correcting color balances, increasing contrast)
Provide course teams and faculty partners with relevant and inspirational examples that can serve to spark ideas and creative solutions
Manage design trade-offs and conflicts that advocate for all learners to meet their pedagogical needs
Offer in-depth consultations on online learning accessibility across different stages of a project, customizing and optimizing accessibility plans according to project needs
Provide feedback from an accessibility standpoint on consistency and appropriateness of course content and presentation (e.g., ensuring hyperlinks are formatted consistently using WCAG 2.0 standards)
Generate actionable accessibility review reports for design teams
Assist course building team in converting and delivering course materials in a variety of formats (Word, PowerPoint, PDF, HTML, Video, other) to partner platforms that meet accessibility standards
Provide feedback to course design teams on consistency and appropriateness of course content and presentation, including through the design and completion of accessibility checklist
Maintain documentation of all accessibility efforts, both at the course and portfolio levels
Lead and manage a team of students contributing to accessibility conversions
Host events, such as writing jams, to scale alt-text writing
Remain aware of emerging educational technologies and make recommendations about when to adopt certain tools to support online learning experiences design

Applied Research

Conduct needs analysis with learners, faculty, and design teams in order to propose platform feature requests to partners platforms
Conduct usability and accessibility reviews on external educational technologies for the use in online learning experiences
Analyze course analytics data to understand learner behavior and performance in order to identify creative solutions for course improvements
Convert research findings into practical design practices
Communicate research findings with broader audiences to establish AI as a leader in the accessibility space

Capacity Expansion

Develop and manage processes that allow AI staff, student fellows, and part-time staff to contribute to accessibility work at AI
Design accessibility road map to allow for enactment of long-term plans at the project and program level
Share accessibility-focused design expertise through developing and facilitating workshops for faculty and staff
Develop practical design manuals by synthesizing experiences working on various design projects as an learning experience designer for accessibility
Maintain a collaborative relationship with other academic units across campus as a CAI representative on working groups and advisory boards

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree in education, instructional design, educational technology, or information science
2+ years of experience (or equivalent combination of education and relevant experience)
Demonstrated vision and passion for creating learning experiences that place a high value on diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
Deep understanding of equitable and inclusive design practices and Universal Design for Learning principles
Experience addressing issues related to accessibility compliance and applying federal policies (e.g., ADA, WCAG 2.0, Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act) in an academic setting
Experience working in online course design teams at the secondary or postsecondary levels
Experience using online education platforms (e.g., Canvas, Coursera, and edX) and assistive technologies (e.g., screen readers)
Ability to employ testing methodologies using tools such as NVDA or JAWs
Demonstrated initiative, independent judgment, diplomacy, and service-oriented attitude
Demonstrated organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
Demonstrated problem-solving ability

Desired Qualifications*

Master’s degree in education, instructional design, educational technology, or information science
Experience communicating to diverse audiences through a variety of modalities including blog posts and social media
Experience writing and presenting research proposals for academic and practitioner-focused conferences
Ability to express ideas visually, verbally, and in writing to transform technical concepts into engaging content
Skills in developing web-based interactives
Skills in project management

Additional Information

This is not a remote position, however, due to COVID-19 and University initiated remote work, the responsibilities of this role will be performed remotely until notified.

The salary for this position will be based upon the selected candidate’s education and experience.

Excellent benefits are available, for details, see
Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.
Decision Making Process

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.
U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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