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An Introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

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Universal Design for Learning:
Access, Assessment & Engagement for All
Jolene Troia
Education Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
608-266-5583
jolene.troia@dpi.wi.gov
Education is in a state of CHANGE!
Why do we need to make changes?
• Increasing diversity in classrooms
• Adoption of Common Core State Standards and Common
Core Essential Elements
• New Educator Effectiveness system
• Emphasis on high quality instruction, collaboration,
balanced assessment, and culturally responsive practices
• Increased emphasis on data
• Traditional methods are not working for ALL students
• Fewer than 11% of students with intellectual
disabilities are fully included in regular
education classrooms (Smith & O’Brien, 2007)
– Many of these students simply haven’t been given
the chance to try
• “Among the chief
obstacles faced by
people with
intellectual
disabilities are the
limiting expectations
that others have for
them.”
– Thomas Armstrong,
Neurodiversity in The
Classroom
The way we learn is as unique as our
fingerprints
Brain Imaging Showing Individual Differences
3 different people learning the same finger tapping task
http://old.cast.org/tesmm/example2_3/brain.htm
Universal Design for Learning
Is
what?
A scientifically valid framework
Does
what?
Provides multiple means of access,
assessment, and engagement and
removes barriers in instruction
that
to
For
what?
achieve academic and
behavioral success
for all
Universal Design for Learning
• Reduces barriers
• Meets the wide range of needs of all learners
• One size fits all approach is not effective
• Inspired from universal design in architecture
Closed Captioning
Barriers
Diving into the UDL Framework
Components of the UDL Framework
3 Principles
9 Guidelines
Checkpoints
Examples
ACCESS
ASSESSMENT
ENGAGEMENT
Adapted from CAST http://www.cast.org/udl/index.html
Three UDL Principles
Access
Assessment
Provide Multiple
Means of
Representation
Provide Multiple
Means of Action and
Expression
Engagement
Provide Multiple
Means of Engagement
Resources to Explore
the UDL Framework
Website
www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/
udlguidelines/principle1
App
Wheel
http://udlwheel.md
onlinegrants.org/
Wiki
http://udltechtoolkit.wiki
spaces.com/
Already doing UDL?
http://udluniverse.com/
A Look at UDL Principles & Practice
UDL Starts with Student Strengths
Strengths of Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities
• You have to KNOW your students and
collaborate with the general education
teacher to capitalize on these strengths
• Individual for each child but there are some
general strengths that can be found in various
disabilities
Strengths of Students with Down Syndrome
•
•
•
•
•
excellent imitation skills
good sense of humor
strong visual-motor skills
well developed non-verbal social skills
very friendly
from Neurodiversity in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong
Strengths of Students with Williams Syndrome
•
•
•
•
strong musical abilities
good oral expression skills
enjoy being with other people
strong understanding of the emotional state
of others and facial cues
• good auditory memory
from Neurodiversity in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong
Strengths of Students with Fragile X Syndrome
•
•
•
•
excellent memory
great sense of humor
good imitation skills
strong empathy for others
from Neurodiversity in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong
Strengths of Students with Prader-Willi Syndrome
•
•
•
•
enjoy reading
good at jigsaw and word search puzzles
long term memory
nurturing
from Neurodiversity in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong
Strengths of students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
• strengths in music, playing instruments,
singing and composing
• strong abilities in writing, poetry and art
• interests in woodworking, computers,
mechanics and skilled vocations such as
welding or electrical work
• helpful and friendly
from Neurodiversity in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong
Strengths of Students with Autism
•
•
•
•
•
well developed visual skills
skilled at perceiving details
excel at memorizing rote material
good with machines or computers
specific interest areas
from Neurodiversity in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong
4 Components of UDL Curriculum
Goals
Materials
Methods
Assessments
Adapted from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning
Goals
Traditional
• Goals may get skewed by
the inflexible ways and
means of achieving them
UDL
• Goals are attained in many
individualized ways, by
many customized means
Adapted from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning
Materials
Traditional
• Mostly print (text) and
everyone gets the same
materials
• Few options
UDL
• Variety of materials, media,
and formats to reach
learners with diverse
abilities, styles, and needs
equally well
Adapted from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning
Methods
Traditional
• Teacher centered (lecture)
• Burden on student to adapt
to “get it”
UDL
• Teacher is a facilitator of
learning, students are
interactive
• Burden is on the curriculum
Adapted from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning
Assessment
Traditional
• Confuse goals with means
• Summative – when it’s too
late to adjust instruction
UDL
• Many possible means as
long as they measure
learning
• Uses a variety of formative
and summative means and
is flexible enough to provide
accurate, ongoing
information that helps
teachers adjust instruction
and maximize learning in a
meaningful way.
Adapted from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning
Activity
Evaluate an IEP goal through a UDL lens
• Determine if the goal
allows for multiple
means of access,
assessment and
engagement
• If not, how could you
change the goal to
better reflect the UDL
principles?
UDL and Other Initiatives
Universal Design for Learning
RtI
State
Assessments
CCSS and
CCEE
Assistive
Technology
Differentiation
Educator
Effectiveness
Critical Factors to UDL Implementation
• State leadership needs to embrace UDL
• UDL must be understood as a general
education initiative that moves beyond special
education
from Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Initiatives on the Move
Next Steps
Work toward systemic change
Take small steps (one guideline, one
lesson, one unit)
Move beyond traditional methods of
instruction
Continue to explore the UDL
framework and UDL resources
In summary, please remember…
The problem is not the students…
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow
well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look
into the reasons it is not doing
well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or
less sun. You never blame the lettuce…”
~Thich Nhat Hahn
Links:
• National Center on UDL
http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines
• Interactive Wheel
http://udlwheel.mdonlinegrants.org/
• UDL Toolkit
http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com
• Dynamic Learning Maps – UDL Training Module
http://dynamiclearningmaps.org/unc/modules.html
Resources
• www.udl4allstudents.org
• www.cast.org
• www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/
• www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/examples
Questions
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