Universal Design for Learning
“Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” – Ronald Mace
What is the Universal Design for Learning?
According to the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), UDL is a framework to optimize teaching and learning, based on scientific insights into how humans learn. This framework guides educators in designing lessons, assessments and materials that can meet the needs of all of their learners to the greatest extent possible.
(brought to you by the SETBC resource: udlresource.ca)
Our classrooms are diverse. Come join us in investigating how we might use that difference to create inclusive classroom communities.
UDL planning always starts with the students. In order to accommodate the diverse needs of your students, you’ll need to understand them as learners. Students also need to understand their own learning preferences and needs.
Understanding the classroom as a unit helps school based teachers to identify the class’ areas of strength and need and provide support as needed.
Goal-Based Design and Curriculum
Goal-based planning is essential to the UDL approach. Learn how to separate goals from methods in order to provide more entry points for diverse learners.
Assessment in the UDL classroom in as flexible and responsive as the options students can choose from but is solidly grounded in the essential learning outcomes.
Rubrics communicate clearly and succinctly to students what is expected of them. Well designed rubrics will extend and challenge students to achieve beyond what is just expected.
The multiple means of engagement principle is about much more than creating a fun and motivating classroom environment. Providing authentic learning tasks and helping students develop the self-regulation skills to focus and stay on task will greatly enhance learning.
The multiple means of representation principle suggests that we provide multiple access points to learning. We can make learning accessible for a greater number of students by presenting curricular materials and concepts in a variety of ways with a variety of supports.
Action and Expression
The multiple means of expression principle encourages us to allow students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. When they are given choice, students who struggle with traditional means of expression are able to truly demonstrate their learning.
Teachers around the province are doing amazing things that encourage all their students to participate in authentic learning experiences. This section will highlight some of these stories.
Tell Your Story
Having now seen these stories of inclusion, consider your own professional practice. You can you inspire others with your stories of inclusion, and we can help. See the link below for more information.