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Universal Design

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  • 1. Universal Design Focused on helping ALL students By Emily Bosl
  • 2. What is Universal Design?
    • Universal design is a broad term that can be used to describe many different projects and ideas.
    • Its goal is to create an environment that is accessible to all people, not just the “average person.”
      • Regardless of age, illness, status in life, etc.
    • Can be applied to the design of technology, products, environments, and education.
  • 3. How does Universal Design relate to education?
    • Many standardized curriculums are based on an “average” student. However, any good teacher knows that there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter student and that each child learns differently.
    • UDL is focused on helping students that do not benefit from a marginalized and mainstream curriculum. Example of these students are:
      • English language learners
      • Students with disabilities
      • Struggling students
      • Gifted and talented students
  • 4. Universal Design
    • Universal Design creates learning experiences that works for a wide spectrum of students. This is done by creating activities that are flexible and incorporate a lot of choice.
    • Purpose: Every child is given the chance to be a successful and expert learner.
      • Helps students learn to love learning
    • There are three things that occurs in every learning situation that UDL takes into consideration when creating meaningful activities
      • How does the learner pick up information?
      • How do they act of the information?
      • How are they engaged by the learning situation?
  • 5. Four Components of Curriculum
    • What are its goals?
      • How the teacher is going to translate the desired standard into a meaningful lesson.
    • What are the materials?
      • The materials that are used during a lesson should be key to learning.
    • What are the methods?
      • The means of instruction should be appropriate and effective, whether it’s through a lecture, experience based, small group, etc.
    • What are the means of assessment?
    • How will the teacher know that their instruction is working and that students are really learning?
  • 6. Three Principles of Universal Design
    • To achieve a curriculum based on universal design, there are three principles that should be followed. Each is also paired with guidelines to make sure each principle is being met.
    • Provide multiple means of representation
      • Provide options for perception, students should understand the way information was presented, and use comprehendible information.
    • Provide multiple means of action and expression
      • Provide options for physical action, expression, and executive functions.
    • Provide multiple means of engagement
      • Provide options for sustaining interest, effort, and self regulation.
  • 7. Universal Design and Assessment
    • I was curious on how teachers assess students when using a curriculum based on universal design, and after reading about it these are the key points I found most interesting.
    • Inclusive assessment population
      • Assessment needs to be able to measure students with a wide range of abilities. This does not mean expectations have to be “relaxed,” it means that the assessment must account for multiple methods of learning.
    • Simple, Clear, and Intuitive Instructions and Procedures
      • The instructions though out the whole assessment should stay consistent. Directions should also be given in a clear way that uses student-friendly terms.
    • Maximum Readability and Comprehensibility
      • Clear, common words should be used, and unnecessary words should be eliminated. Unfamiliar words should be paired with a definition, while complex sentences should be broken down into smaller ones.
  • 8. Universal Design Reflection
    • For my field experience last semester I was placed at Central Academy, which is a progressive school. Reading about UDL reminded me of Central’s educational philosophy because it was very student-based and it incorporated a lot of differentiation into the curriculum. I was in a classroom with both kindergarteners and first graders, so there was a very wide learning gap that had to be tended to. Like the beliefs of universal design, students in the class were given many options to express themselves or express what they knew. I think universal design and progressive schools are implementing many effective teaching strategies into their classrooms that other districts could learn from.
  • 9. References (in addition to the articles and videos we were given)
    • http://www.cehd.umn.edu/NCEO/onlinepubs/Synthesis44.html