Introduction to Universal Design for Learning


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Presentation used as basis for 90-120 minute focus session on UDL. Does not include information related to UDL and technology, accessibility, or UDL Faculty Learning Community. These areas are covered in 1-2 day workshops on "UDL: Inclusive Excellence."

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  • Acknowledge USDoE
  • 10-18-09
  • Let me begin by setting a framework for what I hope we can accomplish within this presentation. First, I would like to introduce you to the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Second, I would like to help you understand how Universal Design for Learning applies at the postsecondary level. Finally, we will examine how UDL training can be successfully implemented on your campus. 10-18-09
  • In order to fully understand the concept of Universal Design for Learning, we need to go back and first understand the origins of the concept of Universal Design. Universal Design is an architectural term that was originally coined by Ron Mace from North Carolina State University in the 1970 ’s. Universal Design, quite simply, is the design of our environment to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptations or specialized design. The intent of Universal Design is to simplify life for everyone by proactively designing our physical environment to be “barrier free” thus more accessible to as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Take for example the building pictured on the left side of this slide. The picture depicts the entrance of a building with a series of steps leading to the front entrance. The original architectural design included stairs as an access feature, that is, stairs serve as the primary entry point or way to access this building. However for many individuals including some individuals with physical disabilities, the elderly, younger children, and those carrying heavy equipment or materials, stairs become an access barrier. For centuries stairs have always been built in a similar fashion, but only recently as a society, we began to recognize that stairs don ’t always work the same for everyone. Within the field of architecture, the solution to stairs as an access problem was the retrofitting of buildings with wheel chair lifts or ramps in order to increase the accessibility of buildings such as these. However, according to Ron Mace, the idea of retrofitting still remains a design afterthought and indeed often created other unexpected drawbacks. 10-18-09
  • In this next slide, we see several images depicting common retrofitting solutions to our physical environment to ensure access for individuals who cannot use stairs. However, some of the drawbacks that occur when implementing these “after the fact” modifications to buildings include, (1) they typically only solve one access issue, (2) they are often very costly to implement and (3) they are generally aesthetically inelegant. When considering these solutions, do you imagine this is how the architects anticipated access when crafting their original architectural plans? 10-18-09
  • In developing the concept of Universal Design, Ron Mace offered the premise that perhaps we should teach architects to design buildings from the start that would work for everyone. In this fashion, we would adopt an intentional approach to design, one that anticipates a variety of physical or sensory needs, broadens usability to the public, would be more economical, and finally one that respects human diversity by not asking someone to come in through a different door. The picture on the left which shows a classic example of a Universal Design solution. In considering access, the architect of this home realized that stairs were not an essential access feature yet the design could remain aesthetically pleasing manner. More importantly, it does not ask individuals who prefer non-stair access to have a separate entry point for this home thus respecting the diversity within our population. It ’s not just individuals in wheelchairs that benefit from this design feature but also the elderly, moms and dads pushing baby strollers and individuals who have to manage wheeled luggage or other wheeled equipment to this home. Consider for a moment what kind of Universal Design solutions have you seen on your campus? At [Name your Institution/Agency] we have curb cuts, universally designed ramps, automatic sliding doors, water fountains set a two height levels, easy access door handles and even bathrooms that accommodate individuals with varied height and physical needs. 10-18-09
  • 10-18-09
  • PROACTIVE design BARRIERS (remember the misplaced blue sign?) 10-18-09
  • Discuss cartoon 10-18-09
  • Perhaps it's useful to consider an analogy between Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning in higher education. On the left-hand column of this table we can see that Universal Design primarily focuses on the physical environment. Universal Design for Learning, located in the right column focuses primarily on our instructional environment. Barriers may exist in our curricular environment. We have already seen that where physical barriers may exist in our architectural environment, we also need to recognize that learning barriers may exist in our curricular environment. Whereas Universal Design is the proactive design of our physical space, Universal Design for Learning is that proactive design of our curriculum and instructional strategies. Finally while retrofitting is often a costly and inelegant approach to modifying our physical environment, faculty comment that curricular modifications or accommodations can also be time-consuming and difficult to implement within their classroom setting. In essence Universal Design for Learning asks faculty to consider how to create curricular curb cuts within their courses. Consider for a moment if you have ever been asked to provide a difficult to implement accommodation for a student in your classroom. Before implementing this accommodation, Universal Design for Learning would ask you to first consider the proactive design or re-design of your curriculum and teaching strategies in such a way that may reduce or eliminate the need for this accommodations and more importantly, one that respected the diversity of learning styles within your classroom. 10-18-09
  • Offer Hawking Example 10-18-09
  • Describe the activity. Have each site do T-P-S for 5 minutes on their own. Have moderator take some simple notes to share in the text box. Brett to capture the notes and highlight examples for Emiliano. 10-18-09
  • How we work at getting there through UDL: First, there needs to be a process (not just a policy). There needs to be good foundational knowledge and understanding of UDL. Technology is added as a layer related to C&I, as well as any strategies for SWD. More advanced accommodations and modifications usually require SDR but we need to know how to facilitate thru IMA. ATI is difficult to grasp and causes resistance b/c it expects faculty to meet them at Level 2. ATI came out with the title “Access to Electronic and Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities” huh? 10-18-09
  • So, what is UDL? 10-18-09
  • Differences in brain activity on same task 10-18-09
  • Linking brain-based research to UDL principles 10-18-09
  • UDL benefits for faculty 10-18-09
  • In further clarifying the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), it is also important to consider what UDL is not. Universal Design for Learning is not about specialized privileges for a few students, that is, it's not about providing special accommodations for a select few. Universal Design for Learning is not about watering down your academic expectations, that is, it is not about making your courses easier; school is supposed to be challenging if learning occurs. Also, Universal Design for Learning is not a “magic bullet” or “fix” for all students. It is not going to solve all of your curricular or pedagogical problems. Finally, Universal Design for Learning is not based on a prescriptive formula. Therefore, no checklist will offer the ideal "UDL solution". 10-18-09
  • What is Representation? 10-18-09
  • Takeaway Strategy: Graphic Organizers 10-18-09
  • Sample Graphic Organizers 10-18-09
  • What is Engagement? 10-18-09
  • Takeaway Strategy: Pause Procedure 10-18-09
  • Sample Pause Procedure 10-18-09
  • What is Expression? 10-18-09
  • Brett (2m12 version) Here is a short vide clip that highlights how one faculty member implemented the concept Representation in her own Biology classes at Springfield Technical Community College. Presenter Note: ACTIVITY An engagement activity can be included at this point as follows: Ask audience to take notes on what the faculty mentions as possible UDL strategies Play video (7 minutes) Ask audience for examples noted Ask audience that if task was difficult – this provides a nice example of UDL and not everyone is auditory learner. Provide audience 2 scaffolds for supporting their identification of UDL examples from transcript Full transcription of video with bolded examples of UDL Lecture notes from video (point out that all UDL domains are not exclusive) Discuss with audience the impact of this strategy. 10-18-09
  • Takeaway Strategy: Course Rubrics 10-18-09
  • Sample Course Rubric 10-18-09
  • Resources for implementing UDL in your classes 10-18-09
  • Introduction to Universal Design for Learning

    1. 1. Introduction to Universal Design for Learning <ul><li>Emiliano Ayala, PhD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EnACT~PTD Principal-Investigator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chair & Associate Professor of Special Education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brett Christie, PhD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EnACT~PTD Project Coordinator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Technology Services, California State University </li></ul></ul>
    2. 4. AN INTRODUCTION TO: UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING Michigan State University, May 19 2010
    3. 5. Presentation Goals <ul><li>Introduce the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide examples and resources on how UDL has been successfully applied at the postsecondary level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased teaching effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved student outcomes </li></ul></ul>
    4. 6. Universal Design Is our physical environment welcoming? <ul><li>Architectural term coined by R. Mace </li></ul><ul><li>Physical environment design for access </li></ul><ul><li>Stairs as access feature/barrier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical Disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elderly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strollers/Carts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Retrofitting for physical access remains a design afterthought </li></ul>DisWeb © 2000 Karen G. Stone
    5. 7. <ul><li>Typically solves one issue </li></ul><ul><li>Often costly to implement </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetically inelegant </li></ul>Retrofitting our Physical Environment Copyright ® 1997 Access Elevator Company
    6. 8. Universal Design Solutions <ul><li>Intentional approach to design </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipates a variety of needs </li></ul><ul><li>Broadens usability to public </li></ul><ul><li>More economical </li></ul><ul><li>Respects human diversity </li></ul>What kind of Universal Design solutions are located on your campus or facility?
    7. 9. Some Efforts Toward Physical Accessibility
    8. 10. Universal Design for Learning Is our pedagogical environment welcoming? <ul><li>UDL is the proactive design of our courses to ensure they are educationally accessible regardless of learning style, physical or sensory abilities. </li></ul>Just as physical barriers exist in our physical environment, curricular barriers exist in our instructional environment.
    9. 11. Educationally, Does One Size Fit All?
    10. 12. UDL Analogy for Higher Ed UD UDL Physical Environment Instructional Environment Physical barriers may exist in our architectural environment Learning barriers may exist in our curricular environment Proactive design of physical space Proactive design of curriculum and instruction Physical retrofitting can be costly and is often inelegant Instructional accommodations can be time consuming and difficult to implement
    11. 13. As the Architect of Your Classroom…. <ul><li>Imagine Stephen Hawking, one of the preeminent physicists of our time, taking a timed pencil-and-paper physics exam. He would likely fail it outright. His test performance would not reflect his knowledge of physics – which is extraordinary among the best - but merely his inability to master the means of expression required by a timed paper-and-pencil test. </li></ul>What are we measuring?
    12. 14. Think – Pair - Share <ul><li>Take a moment and recall an activity you offered in one of your classes where you noted that several students struggled. </li></ul><ul><li>What “teaching variables” may have impacted student success? </li></ul><ul><li>Share your thoughts with a person sitting next to you. </li></ul>
    13. 16. <ul><li>Current brain research indicates three distinct yet inter-related learning networks (Rose, Meyer, Hitchcock, 2005): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition Learning Network ( what ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How we make sense of presented information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affective Learning Network ( why ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How motivation & participation impacts learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Learning Network ( how ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How we demonstrate our learning or mastery </li></ul></ul></ul> UDL Foundations: Brain-based Learning Networks
    14. 17. Brain Imaging Showing Individual Differences These three functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) show brain activity patterns of three different people performing the same simple, finger tapping task. The level of brain activity during performance of this task is designated using color. Blue indicates a low to moderate level of activity, red indicates a high level of activity, and yellow indicates an extremely high level of activity. CAST: Teaching Every Student © 2002-2009                                                                                       
    15. 18. Making the Connection UDL Principles for Effective Instruction <ul><li>Faculty can offer various ways to REPRESENT (show) essential course concepts in support of recognition learning networks </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty can offer various ways to encourage student ENGAGEMENT (participate) in support of affective learning networks </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty can offer students various formats for EXPRESSION (demonstration) of what they have learned through strategic learning networks </li></ul>
    16. 19. UDL Benefits for Faculty <ul><li>Enables you to reach a diverse student population without necessarily modifying your course requirements or academic expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Provides you the tools to consider how and what you teach in a structured and systematic manner </li></ul><ul><li>Offers you an opportunity to critically examine your Teaching Effectiveness in light of the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion process </li></ul>
    17. 20. UDL is not… <ul><li>Specialized privileges for a few students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not about special accommodations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Watering down your academic expectations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not about making courses easier – school is supposed to be challenging if learning occurs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A “magic bullet” or “fix” for all students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not going to solve all your curricular or pedagogical problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A prescriptive formula </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No checklist will offer the “UDL solution” </li></ul></ul>
    18. 21. What is REPRESENTATION? <ul><li>“ How do I present essential course content to my students?” </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals in Practice: </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing that students access information in a variety of formats (including auditory, visual and tactile), consider varying how you express essential course content. This increases the likelihood of information access and comprehension and ultimately, the effectiveness of your instruction. </li></ul>
    19. 22. Takeaway Representation Strategy: Graphic Organizers (GO) <ul><li>What: Visual or graphic display depicting course content. </li></ul><ul><li>How: Advanced organizers, Venn diagrams, concept/spider/story maps, flowcharts, hierarchies </li></ul><ul><li>Why: Positive effects on higher order knowledge but not on facts (Robinson & Kiewra, 1995); Quiz scores higher using partially complete GO (Robinson et al., 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Ways: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Provide completed GO to students (Learn by viewing) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Students construct their own GO (Learn by doing) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Students finalize partially complete GO (scaffolding) </li></ul>
    20. 23. Sample Graphic Organizers
    21. 24. What is ENGAGEMENT? <ul><li>“ How do I involve my students in the learning process?” </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals in Practice: </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing that active participation is key to learning, consider adopting various ways that students can actively participate in class. Active participation strengthens learning and ultimately, the effectiveness of your instruction. </li></ul>
    22. 25. Takeaway Engagement Strategy: The Pause Procedure (PP) <ul><li>What: Short (4-minute) periodic breaks to review notes and/or discuss course content. </li></ul><ul><li>How: Pause at natural breaks (15 minutes). Provide clear instructions, signal beginning and ending of PP and include time for unresolved questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Why: Increases accuracy of notes (Ruhl & Suritsky, 1995); higher exam scores and less need for sustained attention (Braun & Simpson, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent review of notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short writing assignment (Quick write) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group (Think-Pair-Share) discussion of notes or material </li></ul></ul>
    23. 26. Sample Pause Procedure <ul><li>With a colleague sitting next to you, discuss how the Pause Procedure has or could work in your classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Allow each person 2 minutes to discuss: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One potential benefit of this technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One potential drawback of this technique </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to share your reflections if called upon </li></ul>
    24. 27. What is EXPRESSION? <ul><li>“ How do I ask my students to show what they know? ” </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals in Practice : </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing that students have preferences for how they express themselves, (orally, written and visually), consider providing multiple ways for students to demonstrate their competency. This increases the likelihood of their success and ultimately, the effectiveness of how you measure their learning. </li></ul>
    25. 28. Example of UDL: Expression <ul><li>UDL in Biology </li></ul>Video Credit: Project U.P.S.I.D.E. (Springfield Technical Community College)
    26. 29. Takeaway UDL Strategy: Course Rubrics <ul><li>What: Scoring tool that explicitly represents the performance expectations for an assignment. Divides the assignment into component parts and provides clear descriptions of each component, at varying levels of mastery. </li></ul><ul><li>How: Consider major elements embedded in any given assignment. Define components and evaluation parameters. </li></ul><ul><li>Why: Enhanced achievement and student satisfaction (Roblyer & Wiencke, 2003); Reliable formative and summative assessment tool (Montgomery, 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>Ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual paper, project, or participation grading rubrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative pathway rubrics </li></ul></ul>
    27. 30. Dimension Sophisticated Competent Needs Work Introduction Position and exceptions, if any, are clearly stated. Organization of the argument is completely and clearly outlined and implemented. 4-5 pts Position is clearly stated. Organization of argument is clear in parts or only partially described and mostly implemented. 2-3 pts Position is vague. Organization of argument is missing, vague, or not consistently maintained. 0-1 pts Research Research selected is highly relevant to the argument, is presented accurately and completely – the method, results, and implications are all presented accurately; Theory is relevant, accurately described and all relevant components are included; relationship between research and theory is clearly articulated and accurate. 8– 10 pts Research is relevant to the argument and is mostly accurate and complete – there are some unclear components or some minor errors in the method, results or implications. Theory is relevant and accurately described, some components may not be present or are unclear. Connection to theory is mostly clear and complete, or has some minor errors. 5 – 7 pts Research selected is not relevant to the argument or is vague and incomplete – components are missing or inaccurate or unclear. Theory is not relevant or only relevant for some aspects; theory is not clearly articulated and/or has incorrect or incomplete components. Relationship between theory and research is unclear or inaccurate, major errors in the logic are present. 0 – 4 pts Conclusions Conclusion is clearly stated and connections to the research and position are clear and relevant. The underlying logic is explicit. 4-5 pts Conclusion is clearly stated and connections to research and position are mostly clear, some aspects may not be connected or minor errors in logic are present. 2-3 pts Conclusion may not be clear and the connections to the research are incorrect or unclear or just a repetition of the findings without explanation. Underlying logic has major flaws; connection to position is not clear. Writing Paper is coherently organized and the logic is easy to follow. There are no spelling or grammatical errors and terminology is clearly defined. Writing is clear and concise and persuasive. 4-5 pts Paper is generally well organized and most of the argument is easy to follow. There are only a few minor spelling or grammatical errors, or terms are not clearly defined. Writing is mostly clear but may lack conciseness. 2-3 pts Paper is poorly organized and difficult to read – does not flow logically from one part to another. There are several spelling and/or grammatical errors; technical terms may not be defined or are poorly defined. Writing lacks clarity and conciseness. 0-1 pts
    28. 31. Resources for Implementing UDL in Your Classes <ul><li>CAST UDL Guidelines (handout) </li></ul><ul><li>Postsecondary UDL Examples (handout) </li></ul>