Making an Online Science Lab Accessible to All

Presented at 8:00am in Plaza Ballroom D on Thursday, November 18, 2021.



  • Carrie Hansel, Interim Manager, Indiana University
  • Gina Londino-Smolar, Senior Lecturer, Indiana University - Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  • Maggie Ricci, Principal Online Instructional Technologist, Indiana University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Interested in learning more about using universal design for learning in an online lab? Come hear how we combined the principles of multiplicity, clear goals, intentional planning for learner variability, flexible methods, and timely feedback. Be prepared to learn our process and practice your knowledge on example activities.


Ensuring that students have meaningful learning experiences begins with access. It is not simply a matter of checking off a series of accessibility requirements, but requires an advanced level of accessibility for all learning materials. The goal is to push beyond the minimum level and discover creative course design techniques that provide a qualitatively richer learning experience. To that end, we embraced UDL multiplicity principles, clear goals, intentional planning for learner variability, flexible methods, and timely feedback. For this session, we propose four sections to share our story: * Creating an accessible online course. * Developing rich and meaningful learning experiences for all students. * Identifying potential barriers and developing some proactive accommodation solutions to ensure that students receive a comparably rich learning experience and not just the bare minimum accessible format. * Brainstorming potential accommodations that supply a rich learning experience


  1. Learning begins with access but requires creative design to provide a rich, meaningful experience.
  2. Accessible online lab creation requires intentional planning.
  3. Proactively create access solutions where it’s apparent they’ll be needed.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Carrie Hansel

Carrie Hansel is Interim Manager of eLearning Design, Accessibility Liaison for the design team, and a Principal Online Instructional Designer with Indiana University’s eLearning Design and Services. She brings 20 plus years of experience ranging from early intervention to higher education. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from DePauw University and a Master’s degree in Adult Education from Indiana University. Presently, she is in the dissertation phase of my Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology with Indiana University. Her research focus is on the co-design process used by higher education instructional designers and faculty during the online course creation.

Gina Londino-Smolar

Ms. Londino-Smolar is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology teaching in the forensic and investigative sciences program, as well as a faculty fellow with Teaching and Learning Technologies. Currently, Gina teaches the introductory courses in forensic science both face to face and online and works with online teaching faculty through IU in creation of online material. Since 2006, Gina has been a part of the forensic science program and had direct experience with the FEPAC accreditation process of the forensic and investigative sciences program. Throughout her time at IUPUI, she has developed multiple courses in forensic science; along with the development of courses taught online to reach out to other student populations. She has published a laboratory manual for undergraduate forensic science laboratory course for non-science majors. Gina is heavy involved in distance education at IUPUI and with academic integrity initiatives. She is currently a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the Chair of the Disciplines committee for the General Section and a member and Elect of the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE)

Maggie Ricci

Maggie Ricci is currently Principal Online Instructional Technologist for Indiana University, where she leads IU’s Next.IU program to explore, evaluate, and pilot new teaching and learning technologies. Her experience includes 17 years as a developer, 5 years as a research faculty member, 5 years as a teaching faculty member, stints as a grant administrator for major NIH and NSF grants, several years of instructional design and project management, and 10 years of faculty development and change management. A self-described LEGO, she strives to get the right people together to help accelerate breakthroughs in teaching and learning.