UDL: Universal Design Learning What is it and why should we implement it??? By: Tonya Todd
Presentation Outline What is Universal Design Learning (UDL) Threeprinciples of UDL Central role of UDL Brain research and learning differences How UDL supports learning differences Technology and UDL Potential impact of UDL in our school UDL resources
What is Universal Design Learning (UDL)? Universal design learning was created as an “offset” of the concept of Universal Design (UD). What is UD? In the early 1990s architect Ron Mace created the principals of UD, and described them as the idea that all people should have equal and easy access to all buildings and structures (The History and Philosophy of UDL, 2010).. Mace believed that buildings and products should be designed and created to be easily accessed and used by all persons.(The History and Philosophy of UDL, 2010).
Examples of UD There are many examples of Universal Design in the world around us. Three are shown below: Door Levers (instead of door knobs) help people who have difficulty turning a knob to get into and out of a room CLOSED CAPTIONING Closed Captioning technology enables the hearing impaired to understand what is being said on television programs Wheel Chair ramps help persons in wheel chairs have access to buildings that otherwise must be accessed by stairs
From UD to UDL… After Mace published his UD ideas, educators begin to adapt his principles of UD to “fit” education; thus, the idea of UDL was born. UDL is defined “an approach to designing educational environments, curricula, and pedagogy that reduces barriers to learning for students with diverse backgrounds, learning styles, and abilities” (Using a Universal Design Approach to Find Barriers and Solutions in the Curriculum, 2004).
In an effort to help educators create a learning environment that meets the learning needs of all students, creators of the UDL developed the following 3 principles as applied to teaching and student learning strategies: “Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation” “Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression” “Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement” (CAST, 2011) 3 Principles of UDL
Principle I: Provide Multiple Means of Representation According to the National Center for UDL, to “reduce barriers to learning, it is important to ensure that key information is equally perceptible to all learners by: providing the same information through different modalities (e.g., through vision, hearing, or touch) 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).” (CAST, 2011)
Principle I: Provide Multiple Means of Representation
Below are just a few examples of educational tools and techniques that can be used to help provide students with multiple representations of content:
Printouts/transcripts of lessons
Verbal or visual cues that help point out important information
Sign language software
Guiding cues when helping understand new information and symbols
Software that allows for:
Manipulatives that allow for hands-on learning about abstract concepts
Closed captioning software
Highlight and define key terms and vocabulary words
Supply needed background information
Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
According to the National Center for UDL, “there is not one means of action and expression that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for action and expression is essential”
Students need to be provided with tools and strategies they can use during learning and after learning (during assessment).
Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
Below are just a few examples of educational tools and techniques that can be used to help provide students with choice during action and expression:
Provide physically limited students with alternate tools with wish to learn and show mastery of materials/concepts:
Alternate keyboard commands
Alternate mouses and computer screens
Allow for alternate routines to be performed (like in physical education)
Allow for use of technologies to aid in learning:
Computer-Aided Drafting programs
Spell check, grammar check, etc.
Provide numerous examples of correct and incorrect ways to “do” content
Provide necessary scaffolding
Provide students with option of using multiple media/techniques through which to show master of concepts:
Social Media sites
Provide consistent and constant valuable feedback
Help students plan, set, and follow through with goals.
Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
According to the National Center for UDL, “there is not one means of engagement that will be optimal for all learners in all contexts; providing multiple options for engagement is essential”.
We must create lessons that “grab” students’ attention by tying our lessons to student interests. Then, we must implement those lessons in a manner that will support students in their efforts to learn, yet challenge the same students to push themselves to reach their fullest potential. And, lastly, we must teach our students to be self-motivated, self-paced, and self-evaluating.
Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
Below are just a few examples of educational tools and techniques that can be used to help provide students with multiple means of engagement:
Provide students with as much choice as possible when implementing lessons-choice in:
Methods of learning (i.e. through videos, lectures, online simulations, etc.)
Allow students to have some “say so” in how lessons are created and implemented.
Tie lessons to concepts that are:
Of interest to students
Tied to current events
Create charts, timelines, rubrics, and/or other “checklist” type guidelines that students can use to stay “on track” and prepare for the upcoming activities/events/assignments
Provide alternative timeframes and assignments when required for certain “needy” students
Provide needed support for all students. Provide consistent and continuous feedback
Encourage students to create individual goals and participate in creating class goals
Encourage students to work together to meet goals. Display goals in differing ways.
Teach students how to self reflect, re-write goals, monitor progress, and self-motivate
Technology and UDL The following are a few technologies that make the implementation of UDL easier and richer for both student and teacher :
Voice Thread, Movie Maker, Moodle, WebQuests, Blogs, Wikis, etc
Allow for teachers to create lessons that allow students more choice in learning preference as well as preference when choosing what media to use when creating “assessment products”
(many more examples were given during slides describing the 3 principles)
Microsoft Office suite software
allows for adjusting images and text)
allows for spell/grammar check
Provides thesaurus and dictionary
Allows for magnification
“smart” search features (color coding, highlighting, etc.)
Voice to text capable
Online Math dictionaries/encyclopedias
Allow students to see and understand what new mathematical concepts really mean
Online Math simulations
Allow students to work hands-on with virtual manipulatives
Teachertube and other relevant educational video sites
Allows students to review previous concepts in attempts to better scaffold to newer materials
Allows students an alternative means of learning about new concepts
Brain Research has shown that there are 3 different learning networks in the brain: The Recognition Network The Strategic Network The Affective Network Each of these networks are located in a different part of the brain, and play a big role in the learning differences between people. No two people learn exactly the same, thus, by addressing the needs of each of these learning networks, we can best help all of our students be successful in their educational ventures. Brain Research and Learning Differences (CAST, 2011)
The back of the brain…where all of the information we receive goes to be “processed” This network is responsible for recognizing and obtaining the information that we see, hear, and process. Uses “bottom-up” and “top-down” processing in order to determine what the information it is receiving is and what it is relevant to. It is here that incoming information is tied to old schema. The Recognition Network The "what" of learning (CAST, 2011)
The Recognition Network and its ties to UDL… In the recognition network, what we “see” (input), and how we see it is crucial for learning. The UDL’s first principle supports the recognition network because it states that: it is important for educators to provide students with multiple visuals and representations of content being learned Offering multiple visuals, auditory descriptions, and hands-one examples result in students being more likely to recognize ties between new content and previous schema; and, thus, more likely to retain that information. Multiple examples should not only be different in terms of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, but also in terms of presentation means. Information could be presented as: Voice Threads Videos Power Points Hands-on real-world manipulatives Virtual Manipulatives Images Web links and articles etc (CAST, 2011)
The StrategicNetwork The “how" of learning
The front of the brain…where we decide how to perform a task or produce a product.
This network is responsible for taking the information that has been processed by the recognition network and “doing something” with it.
This network is also responsible for “monitoring” and if necessary “adjusting” the task it has put into motion
The StrategicNetwork and its ties to UDL…
In the Strategic Network the main goals are to decide on a plan, put the plan into action, and monitor and adjust that plan as needed.
The UDL’s second principle support the strategic network because it states :
Because students prefer to carry out tasks in different manners, it is important for educators to provide students with alternatives when actively and physically engaging in the learning process.
Student need to be provided with multiple tools and media to use when learning about new concepts and when creating products based on their new learning experiences.
Also, students need support and guidance in setting goals to in accord with the tasks they desire to carryout.
Furthermore, students need to be coached/guided in learning how to be self-motivated, self-directed, and self-monitoring.
The Affective Network The “why" of learning
The middle part of the brain that is responsible for tying activities, stimuli, and processes to emotions.
This part of the brain is responsible for “getting” and keeping learners engaged, interested, and motivated to learn.
Different people experience the exact same situations in very different ways; the affective network is responsible for the difference.
The Affective Network and its ties to UDL…
In the Affective Network the focus is on deciding what is important and what is motivating.
The UDL’s third principle supports the affective network because it states that:
It is important to tie lessons to concepts that students find interesting and motivating
It is important to help students track their performance, understand their progress, and become self-motivated
Educators should provide students with feedback and should support for students to help them stay motivated
Students should be allowed choice and needed flexibility in choosing how they learn and how their share what they learned
Educators should provide guidelines, timeframes, as well as needed cues and suggestions
It is important to provide means for student reflections and assessment of their work. Educators should help students monitor and adjust their progress as needed.
How does UDL support cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and academic diversity?) The UDL’s three principles makes provisions to support all learners through providing support for all three learning networks. According to brain research, no matter what culture, ethnicity, language, or academic level a student “possesses”, the brain still obtains, processes, and acts on information using the three learning networks. Although every person learns differently using those three learning networks, the fact is that the three networks are “key”, and the UDL supports those three networks (as discussed in the previous slides – slides 17-22)
Technology , UDL, and the 3 Learning Networks Technology is a major part of our students lives. Students expect to see teachers using technology, and students expect to use technology themselves while learning. Normally, while it is not necessary for technology and UDL to go “hand-in-hand”, technology does prove to be very useful during the implementing UDL in the classroom. “However, there is an important exception. For some students, the use of personal assistive technologies…is essential…[and those]students will need their assistive technologies” (CAST, 2011)
Technology , UDL, and the 3 Learning Networks The main goal (aside from supporting students with handicaps) of technology in UDL is to make the planning, creation, implementation, manipulation, and assessing of lessons easier and richer for both the student and teacher. And, by default, since technology supports the UDL, it also supports what the UDL supports; hence, technology also supports the three learning networks (as discussed in previous slides). “Advances in technology…have made “on-the-fly” individualization of curricula possible in practical, cost-effective ways, and many of these technologies have built in supports, scaffolds, and challenges to help learners understand, navigate, and engage with the learning environment”. Furthermore, since students need diverse lessons and tools to learn, advances in technology has made it much easier to support the Recognition, Strategic, and Affective Networks. (CAST, 2011).
The basis of UDL is the help meet the needs of all students, regardless of their backgrounds and weakness. The UDL uses supports to the three learning networks that every person uses to learn to best prepare students to be successful. Since the UDL “give all individuals equal opportunities to learn”, it would greatly help increase student motivation and participation in my school. Furthermore, since students would be motivated to learn due to the lessons being tailored to fit their individual needs, test scores would improve, students would be less likely to drop-out, and more students would go on to become successful college undergraduates. Also, I believe that an increase in student motivation and positive attitude would cause more teachers across the district to “jump on the UDL bandwagon”. Within the school, teachers would become less negative minded about having “lower level classes” because, due to UDL, the students would not be so unmotivated anymore. I believe discipline problems would decrease as well because students would be actively engaged in class instead of being bored. And, lastly, I believe that UDL would result in more students graduating with higher GPAs and going on to become teachers themselves. Potential Impact of UDL
UDL Online Tools On the next three slides I will list three different online tools that can be used by schools to help teachers implement UDL in their buildings.
These two tools are great for helping teachers understand how to re-write mandated curriculum standards into goals that can be used to create lessons that meet the academic and diverse need of all students The UDL Goal Setter tutorial helps teacher analyze mandated content standards/goals through the “lens of UDL”. Through the tutorial teachers will learn what parts of a goal can be manipulated to fit the needs of individual learners without changing the goal itself. The UDL Goal Setter helps teachers set clear, understandable goals so that they can realize how to provide the needed scaffolding for their students. Tool 1: UDL Goal Setter and tutorial http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/udlgoalsetter.cfm (CAST, 2011)
The CAST UDL lesson builder tool allows teachers to: Learn more about the UDL process Explore pre-created UDL lessons plans that are aligned to the standards and include the principles of UDL Create, save, and modify their own UDL lesson plans This lesson builder tool “provides educators with models and tools to create and adapt lessons that increase access and participation in the general education curriculum for all students” (CAST, 2011). This site helps educators meet the needs of diverse students by creating academically centered lesson plans that tailored to include the principles of UDL. Tool 2: CAST UDL Lesson Builder http://lessonbuilder.cast.org/ (CAST, 2011)
The CAST UDL curriculum self-check website allows educators to learn more about the UDL process and to explore/research their curriculum. During the exploration/research of their curriculum, educators will learn to set appropriate goals and methods. Furthermore, educators will learn how to created (or use provided) materials and assessments in a manner that meets the academic standards and the needs of all learners in the classroom. This site also offers links to “outside” UDL resources that could be beneficial to teachers implementing UDL in their classrooms. Tool 3: CAST UDL Curriculum Self-check http://udlselfcheck.cast.org/ (CAST, 2011)
CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author. Retrieved from: http://www.udlcenter.org/ The History and Philosophy of UDL. (2010). Retrieved July 20, 2011, from: http://accessproject.colostate.edu/udl/documents/philosophy.cfm Using a Universal Design Approach to Find Barriers and Solutions in the Curriculum. (2004).The Access Center: Improving Outcomes for All Students K-8. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from: http://www.k8accesscenter.org/training_resources/UniversalDesign_BarriersSolutions.asp Bibliography