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  • Welcome to OPEN DOORS. This is a presentation on the Universal Design for Learning. We chose the title Open Doors because that’s what the Universal Design for Learning does, it opens the door for everyone in terms of learning and learner engagement. I hope you enjoy the rest of the presentation.
  • Universal Design for Learning or UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.
  • UDL builds maximum flexibility into curriculum by allowing the instructor to have the flexibility to change, adapt, modify, or overcome anything needed so that all learners needs in the environment are met.
  • Every student will now have the maximum opportunity to learn. In the past the instructor used one delivery method in a set amount of time so the only students learning were the students who could adhere to the delivery method and finish in the set amount of time.
  • UDL came from Architectural Design Principles.
  • Gathering facts. How we identify and categorize what we see, hear, and read. Identifying letters, words, or an author's style are recognition tasks—the "what" of learning. Lots of ways to get to the info in – verbal, physical, visual, manipulative Big Idea:Those concepts that facilitate the broadest acquisition of knowledge. The keys that unlock a content area for a wide range of learners focus instruction around the BIG IDEA definition – having the bigger idea in mind when planning instruction allows the educator to determine which aspects of the lesson are CRITICAL for all learners. The key to finding quality education tools (textbooks, videos, software etc.) is to organize around the big idea Science - Big Idea: Everything is made up of atoms and they are the smallest particle of an element.
  • Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas. Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks—the "how" of learning. demonstrate information and skills multiple times at varying levels Reasonably efficient and intentional routines that lead to acquisition and utilization of knowledge. Taught overtly and explicitly. Conspicuous Strategies with visual reminders checklist poster boards templates highlighters/colorAt-risk learners tend to: have difficulty integrating/categorizing/ organizing learned strategies. take longer to internalize (automate) strategies. Have difficulty adjusting strategies to meet a particular situation (generalize). Efficient strategy use requires Automaticity Ability to generalize and adapt language based Ability to self-monitor needs The trick is that we need to plan for these as part of our instruction. For kids that struggle we often have to simplify, post, checklist em. e.g. KWL; Four Square – Julie will cover many – book they are receiving sometimes they keep the forever – e.g. I still recite in my head ”i before e except after c” for kids who struggle, if they are subtle – they may not get learned supported practice allow students to use scaffolds as they learn – scaffolds are Learning supports built into the curriculum. Provides support to learners at all proficiency levels.,Allows students access to the BIG IDEA.,Varies in intensity and duration. ,Occur throughout the curriculum., Are temporary. We do it for out children Tell the training wheels story – Sipper cups Bumper bowling Education: large ruled paper with the red lines Oversized pencils The technology we provided is an excellent example. Kidspiration story and Aaron CoWriter as a crutch Feedback – lots of practice, small chunks, justify what they know and do it in lots of different ways – not just at the end of the chapter – as kids are engaged and learning. We need to know if they are getting it or not! how many ways can we think of that a child could show his teacher that he understands how to so a math story problem
  • Learning is impossible if information is imperceptible to the learner, and difficult when information is presented in formats that require extraordinary effort or assistance. To reduce barriers to learning, it is important to ensure that key information is equally perceptible to all learners by: 1) providing the same information through different modalities (e.g., through vision, hearing, or touch); 2) providing information in a format that will allow for adjustability by the user (e.g., text that can be enlarged, sounds that can be amplified). Such multiple representations not only ensure that information is accessible to learners with particular sensory and perceptual disabilities, but also easier to access and comprehend for many others.
  • Learners vary in their facility with different forms of representation – both linguistic and non-linguistic. Vocabulary that may sharpen and clarify concepts for one learner may be opaque and foreign to another. An equals sign (=) might help some learners understand that the two sides of the equation need to be balanced, but might cause confusion to a student who does not understand what it means. A graph that illustrates the relationship between two variables may be informative to one learner and inaccessible or puzzling to another. A picture or image that carries meaning for some learners may carry very different meanings for learners from differing cultural or familial backgrounds. As a result, inequalities arise when information is presented to all learners through a single form of representation.  An important instructional strategy is to ensure that alternative representations are provided not only for accessibility, but for clarity and comprehensibility across all learners.
  • The purpose of education is not to make information accessible, but rather to teach learners how to transform accessible information into useable knowledge. Decades of cognitive science research have demonstrated that the capability to transform accessible information into useable knowledge is not a passive process but an active one. Constructing useable knowledge, knowledge that is accessible for future decision-making, depends not upon merely perceiving information, but upon active “information processing skills” like selective attending, integrating new information with prior knowledge, strategic categorization, and active memorization. Individuals differ greatly in their skills in information processing and in their access to prior knowledge through which they can assimilate new information. Proper design and presentation of information – the responsibility of any curriculum or instructional methodology - can provide the scaffolds necessary to ensure that all learners have access to knowledge.
  • A textbook or workbook in a print format provides limited means of navigation or physical interaction (e.g., turning pages, handwriting in spaces provided). Many interactive pieces of educational software similarly provide only limited means of navigation or interaction (e.g., using a joystick or keyboard).   Navigation and interaction in those limited ways will raise barriers for some learners – those with physical disabilities, blindness, dysgraphia, or who need various kinds of executive functioning supports. It is important to provide materials with which all learners can interact.   Properly designed curricular materials provide a seamless interface with common assistive technologies through which individuals with movement impairments can navigate and express what they know – to allow navigation or interaction with a single switch, through voice activated switches, expanded keyboards and others.
  • There is no medium of expression that is equally suited for all learners or for all kinds of communication.  On the contrary, there are media, which seem poorly suited for some kinds of expression, and for some kinds of learning.  While a learner with dyslexia may excel at story-telling in conversation, he may falter when telling that same story in writing.  It is important to provide alternative modalities for expression, both to the level the playing field among learners and to allow the learner to appropriately (or easily) express knowledge, ideas and concepts in the learning enironment.
  • At the highest level of the human capacity to act skillfully are the so-called “executive functions.”  Associated with networks that include the prefrontal cortex, these capabilities allow humans to overcome impulsive, short-term reactions to their environment and instead to set long-term goals, plan effective strategies for reaching those goals, monitor their progress, and modify strategies as needed. In short, they allow learners to take advantage of their environment. Of critical importance to educators is the fact that executive functions have very limited capacity due to working memory. This is true because executive capacity is sharply reduced when: 1) executive functioning capacity must be devoted to managing “lower level” skills and responses which are not automatic or fluent thus the capacity for “higher level” functions is taken; and 2) executive capacity itself is reduced due to some sort of higher level disability or to lack of fluency with executive strategies. The UDL framework typically involves efforts to expand executive capacity in two ways: 1) by scaffolding lower level skills so that they require less executive processing; and 2) by scaffolding higher level executive skills and strategies so that they are more effective and developed.  Previous guidelines have addressed lower level scaffolding, this guideline addresses ways to provide scaffolding for executive functions themselves.
  • Stimulate interest and motivation for learning
  • Information that is not attended to, that does not engage learners’ cognition, is in fact inaccessible. It is inaccessible both in the moment and in the future, because relevant information goes unnoticed and unprocessed. As a result, teachers devote considerable effort to recruiting learner attention and engagement. But learners differ significantly in what attracts their attention and engages their interest. Even the same learner will differ over time and circumstance; their “interests” change as they develop and gain new knowledge and skills, as their biological environments change, and as they develop into self-determined adolescents and adults. It is, therefore, important to have alternative ways to recruit learner interest, ways that reflect the important inter- and intra-individual differences amongst learners.
  • Many kinds of learning, particularly the learning of skills and strategies, require sustained attention and effort. When motivated to do so, many learners can regulate their attention and affect in order to sustain the effort and concentration that such learning will require. However, learners differ considerably in their ability to self-regulate in this way. Their differences reflect disparities in their initial motivation, their capacity and skills for self-regulation, their susceptibility to contextual interference, and so forth. A key instructional goal is to build the individual skills in self-regulation and self-determination that will equalize such learning opportunities (see Guideline 9). In the meantime, the external environment must provide options that can equalize accessibility by supporting learners who differ in initial motivation, self-regulation skills, etc.
  • While it is important to design the extrinsic environment so that it can support motivation and engagement it is also important to develop learners’ intrinsic abilities to regulate their own emotions and motivations. The ability to self-regulate – to strategically modulate one’s emotional reactions or states in order to be more effective at coping and engaging with the environment – is a critical aspect of human development. While many individuals develop self-regulatory skills on their own, either by trial and error or by observing successful adults, many others have significant difficulties in developing these skills. Unfortunately some classrooms do not address these skills explicitly, leaving them as part of the “implicit” curriculum that is often inaccessible or invisible to many. Those teachers and settings that address self-regulation explicitly will be most successful in applying the UDL principles through modeling and prompting in a variety of methods. As in other kinds of learning, individual differences are more likely than uniformity. A successful approach requires providing sufficient alternatives to support learners with very different aptitudes and prior experience to effectively manage their own engagement and affect.
  • Time for TTYN (Talk to Your Neighbor), think about your own learning preferences. What supports would you want to be sure were in place for you?
  • The role of technology in UDL is that it can provide more opportunities for students by connecting them to things that they might not have access to if it were not for technology. Also these opportunities allow students to have more experiences which in turn leads to increased knowledge. Technology also allows the educator to build more flexibility into the curriculum. Technology in the Universal design for learning maximizes opportunities for students.
  • Multiple, flexible means of representation Multiple, flexible means of expression Multiple, flexible options for engagement
  • Multiple, flexible means of representation Multiple, flexible means of expression Multiple, flexible options for engagement
  • Multiple, flexible means of representation Multiple, flexible means of expression Multiple, flexible options for engagement
  • one size fits all!
  • As standards/demands increase – so obviously do the number of kids on the edge of failure. When we keep upping the ante we often lose the ones who are barely succeeding now. Local state and federal benchmarks, mandates and standards no child left behind Diverse learners as a whole, rely more heavily on schools for their educational achievement by definition, don’t have much support at home – socioeconomic, needs are complex and require expertise, good at avoiding painful learning opportunities
  • Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development" (ZPD) suggests that learning occurs when there is an appropriate level of challenge and support to learn the task. In classroom learning situations, this means providing learning tasks that are too difficult to do independently, but are within reach with support. The task should stretch the learner past his current level of knowledge. Visualize your own personal encounters in learning situations and think about one where you were bored, inattentive or distracted: Was your inattention due to lack of challenge or inadequate support to understand the content? In either case, you were not learning in your “zone.”
  • This picture of the young boy riding a bicycle illustrates the ZPD. His father is providing the right amount of support for the youngster until he is ready to take off and ride alone. Engagement and motivation are high; challenge is appropriate, and support is just right. All three prerequisites are in place for learning to occur. This picture describes the impact that the Universal Design for Learning would have on all Learners in all classrooms.
  • A popular interpretation of research on human learning is based on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. First published in 1983, Gardner's Frames of Mind presented a vision of seven intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal) that humans exhibit in unique and individual variations. An antidote to the narrow definition of intelligence as reflected in standardized test results, Gardner's theories have been embraced and transformed into curricular interpretations across the country. Many teachers instinctively respond to the notion that students learn and excel in a variety of ways, and believe that a classroom that offers an array of learning opportunities increases the likelihood of success for more students. Gardner himself, however, counsels against widespread application of his theory to every learning situation. All concepts do not lend themselves to every variation of Gardner's list and attempts to present every lesson in seven different modes pushes the theory beyond its practical usefulness. These profiles also should not be used as diagnostic indicators of a student's talents. Just as students are not fully right-brained or left-brained, they should not be defined by their predilection for one or more of Gardner's categories. The goal of education is to encourage the development of well-rounded individuals.
  • Allow us to revisit the architectural foundations of UDL. Remember the Graphic of the stairs leading up to the door in the building helps everyone get into the building. For example, in a particular Math classroom it is time to do linear equations. The instructor can develop an on-line unit on linear equations. The unit can be in any language for different linquistics. The unit can be adjusted by the facilitator to accommodate different cultures and ethnicities. The bottom line is everyone is learning Linear Equations. That is what UDL does – it teaches everyone what they need to know.
  • Thanks to the generosity of CAST funders, CAST offers free multimedia learning tools that aid educators, parents, and students with the Universal Design for Learning
  • Free online tool enables educators to develop their own digital books to support reading instruction for children aged 3& up. Teachers create, edit, and save resource-rich texts. Terry, an animated character, guides educators as they write text, choose images, and develop scripts for the prompts, hints, and models that will help build young readers' skills.
  • In my Special Education classroom, I will be able to develop my Social Skills Units around Social Skills books that support my students reading skills.
  • Free online tool that helps educators build options and flexibility into each element of the curriculum (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) in order to reach and engage all students.
  • In my Community Based Instruction Classroom I have Units that I have developed over the years that meet the needs of my Special Education students but as the World changes and so do my students the Curriculum Self-check allows me to reevaluate my Units and gives me suggestions on what I can improve.
  • Free online tool that teaches educators to customize standards-based curriculum to meet individual learning needs.
  • UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. The Lesson Plan Builder allows me to develop lessons within Units that work for everyone.


  • 2. Universal Design For Learning
    • Instructional approach that opens opportunities for all students
  • 3. UDL
    • Builds maximum flexibility into curriculum
  • 4.
    • Provides every student with maximum opportunity to learn
  • 5. Where we came from……………. Architectural Design Principles
  • 6. Everyone working on the same skill but doing it at their level
  • 7.
    • Video 1
  • 8. Weightroom Example
  • 9. Why is UDL necessary Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. Neuroscience reveals that these differences are as varied and unique as our DNA or fingerprints. Three primary brain networks come into play:
    • The “what” of learning
    • How we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear, and read. Identifying letters, words, or an author's style are recognition tasks.
  • 11. Support diverse recognition networks Provide students with multiple ways to take in, organize and make sense of new information
    • Provide multiple examples
    • Highlight critical features (Big Idea)
    • Provide multiple media format
    • Support background context knowledge
    Center for Applied Special Technologies, CAST www.cast.org
    • The “how” of learning
    • Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas. Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks.
  • 13. Support diverse strategic networks Provide students with multiple approaches, knowledge and strategies for learning.
    • Provide flexible models of skilled performance. (conspicuous strategies)
    • Provide opportunities to practice with scaffolds. (supported practice)
    • Provide on-going relevant feedback.
    • Offer flexible opportunities to demonstrate skill.
    Center for Applied Special Technologies, CAST www.cast.org
  • 14. Affective Networks
    • The “why” of learning
    • How learners get engaged and stay motivated. How they are challenged, excited, or interested. These are affective dimensions.
  • 15. Support diverse affective networks Provide students with engaging activities that include multiple levels of challenge, variety of content and support.
    • Offer choices of content and tools.
    • Offer adjustable levels of challenge.
    • Offer choice of rewards
    • Offer choice of learning context.
    Center for Applied Special Technologies, CAST www.cast.org
  • 16. Recognition Network to Instructional Methods
    • 1. Exaggerate lightness differences between foreground and background colors, and avoid using colors of similar lightness adjacent to one another, even if they differ in saturation or hue.
  • 17. Provide options for perception
  • 18. Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols
  • 19. Provide options for comprehension
  • 20. Strategic Networks to Instructional Methods
  • 21. Provide options for physical action
  • 22. Provide options for expression and communication
  • 23. Provide options for executive functions
  • 24. Affective Networks to Instructional Methods
  • 25. Provide options for recruiting interest
  • 26. Provide options for sustaining effort and persistence
  • 27. Provide options for self-regulation
  • 28. TTYN (Talk To Your Neighbor)
    • Think about your own learning preferences. What supports would you want to be sure were in place for you?
  • 29. Central Role of Technology in UDL
    • More opportunities
    • More experience leads to increased knowledge
    • More flexibility in curriculum
    • Maximum opportunities
  • 30. CAST www.cast.org Multiple means of representation Content Multiple means of expression Product Multiple means of engagement Process
  • 31. Universal Design for Learning A Lesson Plan: To Kill a Mockingbird
    • Video streaming
    • Digital Photos
    • Electronic text
    • Talking Books
    • Visual Map
    • Spark Notes– text and audio
    • Low Tech Tools
    • Vocabulary Support
  • 32. Universal Design for Learning: 8 th Grade History Studying for the End of the Unit Exam Mr. Langhorst’s Virtual Classroom
  • 33. Studycast and Graphic Organizer – 8 th grade American HistoryConstitutional Powers
  • 34. How we’ve been doing business…
  • 35. Today’s classroom :
    • Teachers must deliver instruction to diverse groups of students who come from a variety of cultures with varying languages, learning styles, abilities and disabilities.
    • These students are included in the General Education classroom.
    • Educational demands are on the rise
      • Shift from acquiring knowledge to integrating knowledge
      • Higher curriculum standards
      • All students are held to the same standards
  • 36. Changes in the World Economy
    • We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . .
    • Using technologies that haven’t been invented . . .
    • In order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.
        • David Warlick in “The New Literacy”
  • 37. What we know about student learning:
    • Students need to be able to:
    • Recognize information, ideas, and concepts,
    • Apply effective strategies to process the information and
    • Be engaged in the process.
    • Vygotsky
  • 38. When the task is too difficult for learner When the task is too easy for learner ZONE OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT
  • 39. Right amount of support High engagement Challenge is appropriate
  • 40. Brain research
    • Recent research in neuroscience confirms that…
    each brain processes information differently . The way we learn is as individual as DNA or fingerprints. Center for Applied Special Technologies, CAST www.cast.org
  • 41. cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and academic diversity
  • 42. CAST On-Line Tools
  • 43. CAST UDL Book Builder What is it?
  • 44. Book Builder in my classroom
    • Social Skills Scenarios
  • 45. CAST UDL Curriculum Self-Check Free online tool that helps educators build options and flexibility into each element of the curriculum (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) in order to reach and engage all students.
  • 46. Curriculum Self-Check in my classroom
    • How well are my current Units meeting the diverse needs of my students.
  • 47. CAST UDL Lesson Builder Free online tool that teaches educators to customize standards-based curriculum to meet individual learning needs.
  • 48. Lesson Plan Builder in my classroom
    • Lessons that work for everyone
  • 49. Thank-you