Still Exploring UDL -
Develop online interactive
Jigsaw or Flash Cards of
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I heard someone say the other day, they had heard the term UDL mentioned many times, but had no idea what it actually meant So I thought I would start by explaining What is Universal Design for Learning
These are the Learning outcomes from this session. Possess a deeper understanding of UDL principles. Capable of Applying these principles to your own work. Improves your creativity Provides greater cultural awareness
UDL is a teaching philosophy for course design, addressing the diversity of the student population at Third level Institutions. It focuses on inclusive learning for everyone, including students with disabilities. Recognizing that not everyone learns the same. Empowers students to take responsibility for their own learning by offering them various choices to learn and complete assignments Its based on three principles developed by the Cast organisation which are the following; Multiple Means of Engagement – The Why of learning Multiple Means of Representation- The What of Learning Multiple Means of Action & Expression – The How of learning.
I am only starting my UDL journey, and so far it has been quite interesting. I was awarded a Digital Badge in Universal Design In Teaching and Learning from the National Forum. Following completion of 10 week Open course delivered by the Charity Ahead, and UCD’s Access & Life long Learning office. The structure of the course was UDL in practice, with Students presented with different options to access course resources using either text, audio, and video.
This course broadened my horizons by challenging my teaching practise and encouraged more experimentation. It inspired me with the confidence and ability to develop additional creative techniques for engaging students deeper. The main form of assessment for this course consisted of redesigning a teaching activity by applying one or all of the UDL principles. Students were provided with redesign Activity Report template, for completing this task. We were advised to start by making a small adjustment to course or workshop content.
Another enjoyable aspect was the small group collaboration with UL colleagues from other faculties and divisions. This encouraged more divergent thinking, and opportunities to discuss and reflect on course content. We were required to meet four times and assigned tasks requiring us reflect on the weekly module content We were also required to peer review each other’s Redesign Activity Report and assess it through a UDL lens to verify it met criteria for digital Badge, prior to submitting online.
One UDL change I made to my teaching is Applying the UDL principle of “Multiple Means of Representation”, Which is otherwise known as “the what of Learning.” I use lego bricks to both explain “ What is a Literature Review” , and “What are Boolean Search Techniques”. I teach a research methods workshop to Taught Post Grads preparing them to undertake a dissertation.
Lego is used in serious play, and ensures engagement. Using a combination of different coloured bricks to build a wall containing gaps and explains to students in a three dimensional form the interdisciplinary nature of research. Emphasizing the gaps that already exist within the subject knowledge. Each colour block represents a different subject and how potentially they are combined to form a literature review. . Using this tactile approach reinforces the learning for students while simultaneously improving their perception of the content.
I became more culturally aware about the diversity of student groups and the importance of using images, which universally appeal to everyone. I also learned to ensure that all online documents are produced in word rather than pdf format. This small adjustment facilitates students ease in adapting content for their own individual study needs, by making it compatible with screen reader technology.
These are two images I use in workshop to engage students , and everyone can relate to them.
Implementing UDL as part of the final reflection for students at the end of a workshop. By offering them 3 choices how to reflect on their learning.
Other long-term objectives include developing an online interactive jigsaw or interactive flash cards of the research process. Students learn about the various stages involved by arranging them in sequential order. These last two initiatives would be a collaborative process with other colleagues and dependent upon securing sufficient funding to complete it.