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Universal Design for Learning

This presentation explains the history behind the Universal Design for Learning movement. It also explores the implications for students and teachers in classrooms.

Stephanie Richardson

on 27 May 2010

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Transcript of Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning The inspiration for Universal Design for Learning:
Universal Design for Learning was inspired by the Universal Design movement in architecture (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010a). Architects began making building plans that would suit anyone, so that not only would everyone have access to all buildings, but there would also be choices available. The idea behind Universal Design for learning is the same: design learning activities so they are accessible to everyone (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010a). Architecture examples Why Have Universal Design for Learning?
The answer is in the brain! Research has discovered three different networks for learning The recognition network helps people take information from the senses and recognize what they are seeing (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010b). Oh look, it's small, furry and meows. It must be a cat! The strategic network helps people make a plan of action and then check to see if the plan is working (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010b). The affective network helps motivate us for tasks, and engages us in learning (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010b). While everyone has these three learning networks within their brain, they do not work exactly the same in each person. Some people may have a strength in the recognition network, but a weakness in the affective network. Others may be the opposite. Because of these differences in strengths and weaknesses, everyone learns differently (Rose & Meyer, 2002).
To meet the needs of all learners, and support the three different learning networks, Universal Design for learning has developed three main principles to guide teachers in making accessible lessons. How could UDL change learning for students in our building? I know what you're thinking: This seems hard and like it will take a lot of time. How can I actually do this with everything else I have to do? Luckily, there are resources out there. The CAST organization (Center for Applied Special Technology) has several to choose from on its website at http://www.cast.org but here are my favorite three. So, in the end, why should we try Universal Design for Learning? To support ALL students' The CAST lesson builder at http://lessonbuilder.cast.org is a place where teachers can find model lesson plans, and a template for building and saving their own lessons. Ample links to resources can also be found on this site. The CAST Solution Finder at http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/udlsolutionsfinder.cfm walks teachers through adapting an existing lesson to incorporate UDL solutions. Includes many, many suggestions for things teachers can do, as well as digital tools to help make it happen. The CAST goalsetter tool at http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/udlgoalsetter.cfm walks teachers through focusing on the true goal of a lesson, which would then allow them to come up with supports for that goal. Hmm... I'm going to try writing by picking up the pencil. Does it look right? I love to garden! I can't wait to figure out how to make compost. Provide multiple means of engagement provide multiple means of action and expression provide multiple means of representation Different languages visuals audio LOUDER BIGGER model Choice Feedback Choice Rewards Checklists Vary assignment difficulty As we begin to implement RTI, we have serious concerns about how we will implement interventions for those struggling students, as well as meet the needs of those who need “extra”. By thinking about UDL for each lesson, we would be building in extra support for the three learning networks, which means that not only will those students who are identified as needing more support in each of the three learning networks will get it, but any student who needs support will get it (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010b). By using technology to implement UDL, we will also ensure those students who already achieve at high levels won’t be left to languish in our classrooms. Positron emission tomography image of a human brain taken from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blatantnews/4013906048/ by http://www.flickr.com/photos/blatantnews/ under: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en Curb cuts Kirkland Take it to Make it Curb Cut photo by EPA Smart Growth taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/smart_growth/4575862738/ under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. Building ramps Neighborhood Circulation picture by citta-vita taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/koshalek/3611710788/ under a Creative Commons 2.0 license. Accessible bathrooms Handicap bathroom picture by danperry.com taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/golf_pictures/3166345021/ under a Creative Commons 2.0 license. Technology is important in implementing Universal Design for Learning (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010a) Other Resources for
Universal Design
for Learning: National Universal Design for Learning Task Force website at http://www.advocacyinstitute.org/UDL/classroom_scenarios.shtml has classroom scenarios.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities had a talk featuring Patti Ralabate, Senior Policy Analyst for Special Education at the National Education Association. The transcript features questions and answers about UDL and how it can be implemented in classrooms. http://www.ncldtalks.org/content/interview/detail/2478

The K8 Access Center – explains how virtual reality can meet the standards of UDL


Ohio State University – page has simplified explanation of UDL, as well as ideas for implementing in the classroom, with links to further information.

The Learning through Listening website sponsored by Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic has resources for educators, including a listening skills checklist, and a lesson plan checklist that can help you identify barriers in your lesson plans. You have to sign up to access the tools, but sign-up is free.

UDL Principles by Rose and Meyer (2002): References:

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010a). Program five. Universal Design for Learning [Motion picture]. Reaching and engaging all learners through technology. Baltimore: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010b). Program six. Brain Research and UDL [Motion picture]. Reaching and engaging all learners through technology. Baltimore: Author.

Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/
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