• Universal Design for Learning - UDL

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    Introduction:

    Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, was defined by the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008 as follows:  
    The term UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:
     
    (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
    (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.
     
    UDL means designing your curriculum to be accessible to the widest variety of students, right from the start.  It  is a researched based framework with these three principals:

    Multiple Mean of Representation: Give information to students using multiple modalities
     
    Multiple Means of Expression: Let students demonstrate their knowledge using a variety of modalities
     
    Multiple Means of Engagement: Engage students using a variety of strategies
     
     
           
    Watch this video to learn more:
     
    To learn more about UDL, read this UDL Handbook created by the amazing folks down in Montgomery County Public Schools.  
     
     
     
     

    Multiple Means of Representation

    What does this mean?  "Multiple Means of Representation" means providing information and classroom content to students using multiple modalities.  This is the "what" of learning.  This includes gathering and categorizing information, as well as identifying letters and words.  Research in UDL shows that this principal is controlled by the "Recognition Networks" in our brains. 
     
    So give me some examples: 
    Provide options for perception:  Write information on the board, provide handouts of notes, change the font, change the text color, supplement text with pictures, show videos, caption videos
     
    Provide options for language, mathematical expression, and symbols:  Provide symbols with text descriptions, pre-teach terms, allow students to use text-to-speech, use visual supports for vocabulary, illustrate terms through multi-media
     
    Provide options for comprehension:  Activate background knowledge, use graphic organizers to organize information, highlight key elements with visuals/tables/charts, provide scaffolding, "chunk" information, remove unnecessary distractions, provide checklists and rubrics, revisit key ideas
    Watch this video to learn more:  
     
    Where can I get more information?  Check out the UDL Center page on Multiple Means of Representation
     
     
     
     

    Multiple Means of Expression

    What does this mean?  "Multiple Means of Expression" means allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge using multiple modalities.  This is the "how" of learning.  This includes planning and performing tasks, organizing and expression ideas, and writing essays or completing class projects.  Research in UDL shows that this principal is controlled by the "Strategic Networks" in our brains. 
    So give me some examples: 
    Provide options for physical actions:  Vary the method of response by allowing students to raise their hands, using "clickers", write answers on paper, etc..., be flexible with the pace of the activity and time allowed for students to respond, optimize access to classroom tools by adapting tools as needed (ex. pencil grips, slanted surfaces, adapted calculators, etc...)
     
    Provide options for expression and communication:  Provide multimedia communication including speech, pictures, videos, movement, and more, use social media and other Web 2.0 tools, use physical manipulatives, provide sentence starters, use assistive technology (such as speech to text, word prediction, picture supported word processing, etc...), use graphic organizers, provide differentiated feedback to students
     
    Provide options for executive functions:  Guide students in setting appropriate goals, provide guides/checklists/rubrics, embed "stop and think" prompts, provide guides for breaking down long-term assignments, provide graphic organizers for organizing information, provide note-taking templates, provide templates to guide self-reflection and self-monitoring, use assessment checklists and rubrics
    Watch this video to learn more: 
     
    Where can I get more information?  Check out the UDL Center page on Multiple Means of Expression
     
     
     
     

    Multiple Means of Engagement

    What does this mean?  "Multiple Means of Engagement" means engaging students in their own learning using a variety of strategies.  This is the "why" of learning.  This includes engaging and motivating students.  Research in UDL shows that this principal is controlled by the "Affective Networks" in our brains. 
    So give me some examples: 
    Provide options for recruiting interest:  Allow students choice in topic or type of assignment, encourage self-reflection and personal responses, allow choice in pacing or ordering of activities, create an accepting and nurturing classroom environment
     
    Provide options for sustaining efforts and persistence:  Display the student goal in multiple ways, assist students in breaking down long-term projects into short-term tasks, differentiate the degree of difficulty/complexity within an activity, foster student collaboration, encourage peer mentors, provide students with timely, specific, and specific feedback
     
    Provide options for self-regulation:  Provide prompts/rubrics/checklists that focus on self-regulation and self-assessment, help students mange their frustration and other emotions
    Watch this video to learn more:
     
    Where can I get more information?  Check out the UDL Center page on Multiple Means of Engagement
     
     
     
    The information on this page is from the National UDL Center.  The videos were created and shared by Perkins School for the Blind via their YouTube Channel