Richard Gorrie

Richard Gorrie, PhD


Dr. Richard Gorrie is formerly Associate Director, Educational Technology, with Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd) at the University of Guelph. He helped formulate enterprise-level educational technology strategies for the University and is well-known for his excellent work in the areas of teaching and learning technology. Richard has developed innovative projects and conducted Edtech research at the university, national, and international levels. Specific areas of interest are Universal Design, mediated history, accessibility and inclusion, learning outcomes assessment, and innovative ways of integrating learning technology with sound teaching practice. Richard has also been a sessional lecturer in History, giving him that unique perspective on life reserved for those who teach.


Contact Details


Telephone: 1-519-993-8421

Email:         rgorrie[sp]@[sp]

Twitter, Threads:      @richardgorrie     

Universal Design (UD) for Education

Universal Instructional Design (UID) and Universal Design for learning (UDL)

Charles Dickens' teacher Gradgrind talks about students being empty vessels waiting to be filled with facts. And though we sometimes seem to forget Dickens is being satiric, he is reminding us that the vessels are already full of experience, knowledge, and potential. We might take the analogy further and note that the vessels themselves are different and unique, molded by nature, nurture, and circumstance. One of the best ways to account for these notions is to look at teaching and learning through the lens of Universal Design principles.

I have worked on UD since 2008 and have found it an essential perspective for education and life itself, an extremely helpful tool for thinking empathetically. 

At the University of Guelph we developed a set of Universal Design best practices for online learning that are worth reviewing.