Universal Design for Learning UDL Esperanza Gomez-Gribben EDUC 803 Developmental Variations Summer II, 2008
In 1984 the Center for Applied Special Technology, (“CAST”) designed a novel vision to address the individual learning needs of students with disabilities, by using diverse methods and materials to support different learning styles. CAST named this novel educational vision the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
CAST defines Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as “a blueprint for creating flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that accommodate learners differences” (CAST, 1998, p.2). UDL introduced the notion that teachers should write lesson plans, including instructional support and assessment, instead of modifying materials after a lesson.
Universal Design for Learning highlights the introduction of digital technology in the classroom as an important resource to provide students access to the curriculum. However, in classrooms where resources are limited and technology is not readily available, adaptations to the curriculum, materials, classroom environment, and assessment can provide students universal access to the curriculum as well
CAST lists three guiding principles as the framework for UDL
Representation , which refers to the modifications that can be made to classroom materials that would make them more accessible to students with disabilities.
Expression which refers to the multiple options provided to students to demonstrate what they know.
Engagement which refers to an array of means to address students’ interest, and pose appropriate challenges to increase motivation
UDL into practice…
The three principles of the UDL framework guide the development of adaptable curriculum by means of three interconnected networks, each with a fundamental role in the classroom. Recognition networks specialize in receiving and analyzing information. Strategic networks specialize in planning and executing actions. Affective networks specialize in evaluating and setting priorities.
The UDL Principles and the Networks
To support diverse recognition networks: Provide multiple flexible methods of presentation. For example, when introducing students to new concepts or units, the teacher may provide multiple structures to present the information, such as a lecture, digitized text, activity-based exploration, or demonstration.
To support diverse strategic networks: Provide multiple flexible methods of expression and apprenticeship. For example, when the teacher requests student response to demonstrate understanding and knowledge, they could provide a range of tools that allow students to respond in various formats, such as written, oral, slide show, video, drawing.
To support diverse affective networks: Provide multiple flexible options for engagement. Allow students to select an area of interest within the topic or concept to research or study. For example, the student will select rather than be assigned one of the natural resources in a geographic area under study and obtain in-depth information.
UDL assessment allows teachers to assess the students’ learning process. Technology and adaptations to the traditional assessment permit teachers to embed assessment within instruction. This in turn provides curriculum-based measurements which inform teachers about the kind of support a student uses, the kind of strategies that he or she follows, or is missing, and the aspects of the task environment that conducts the student toward successful or unsuccessful approaches.
Still have questions on how?
In the Teaching Every Student web site, CAST has created an interactive toolkit called “Planning for All Learners (PAL). “PAL applies UDL to planning and developing curricula in ways that promote access, participation, and progress in the general education curriculum for all learners. The PAL Toolkit provides specific planning steps, guidance, mentoring, model lessons, tools, templates, resources, and links to other educators using the PAL Model.” ( www.cast.org/ tes )
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) Founded in 1984, CAST is a non for-profit organization that uses technology to expand learning opportunities for all people, especially those with disabilities.
National Center for Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC) CAST established NCAC in 1999 through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, as part of a national initiative that emerged from IDEA 1997.
Teaching Every Student: TES Web Site
The Teaching Every Student (TES) Web site is an interactive learning environment that explains and exemplifies CAST’s concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and forms a bridge between UDL theory and classroom practice.