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Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms
Denise C. DeCoste, Ed.D
An Introduction to Universal Design for Learning
Technology Integration FrameworkMcAnear, A. (February 2008). School-wide technology integration. Learning and Leading with Technology, p. 5.
What is UDL?
Simply put, UDL is the practice of embedding flexible strategies into curriculum during the planning process so that all students can access a variety of learning solutions.
“Universal design for learning (UDL) is a growing practice across the nation, one that is increasingly referenced in education policy briefs, research literature, teacher professional development, and books and articles for educators.”
Sopko (April 2009). Universal Design for Learning: Policy Challenges and Recommendations. Project Forum at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE).
“UDL is a framework that can help you turn the challenges posed by high standards and increasing learner diversity into opportunities to maximize learning for every student. Drawing upon new knowledge of how the brain works and new technologies and media now available for teaching and learning, UDL frames a systematic approach to setting goals, choosing or creating flexible materials and media, and assessing students accurately”
Teaching Every Student website, Retrieved April 7, 2009 from:http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/content/mentors/site_mentor/site_mentor_udl_def.cfm)
UDL strategies for instruction are frontloaded rather than retrofitted.
Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework for removing barriers by anticipating the needs of all students
Is UDL only for students with IEPs?
UDL is a framework to support the range of learners that exist in typical classrooms.
This would include gifted students, disengaged students, English language learners, as well as, students with documented disabilities.
1. Choices which will engage student interest
2. Options for how they learn
3. Choices for how they demonstrate their learning
Flexible options for student engagement
2. Flexible ways of presenting lesson content
3. Flexible methods of expression, and assessment
Flexible strategies for all students are the hallmark of UDL
Principle 1: Flexible options for student engagement
Examples of options that engage student interest
Using models that “erupt”
K. Lee & L. String, MCPS MD
D. Jackson / MCPS MD
L. Perkins / MCPS MD
ENGAGEMENT: Interactive website that demonstrates the energy of roller coasters
ENGAGEMENT: Choices for practicing skills using a textbook publisher’s online resources
Principle 2: Flexible ways of presenting lesson content
Examples of options for how teachers present information and how students receive information.
Classroom bulletin board
S UlkayMCPS MD
Prentice Hall website http://www.phschool.com
D. Gentry / MCPS MD
PRESENTATION: Using Kurzweil with Public Domain E-Text of the Odyssey
PRESENTATION: Greek Myths at a 4th to 5th grade readability level
PRESENTATION: Biodiversity Video Segment with Closed Captions
PRESENTATION: Video reenactments of history
Principle 3: Flexible methods of expression, and assessment
Options for how students demonstrate their learning
Book report diorama
EXPRESSION: Using a Clicker 5 Word Bank to Support Writing
L Wilson MCPS MD
D Jackson/MCPS MD
A. Dentes & R. Briggs /MCPS MD
EXPRESSION: Using Inspiration as a Prewriting Graphic Organizer
K. Grinham / MCPS MD
V. Rosenberg / MCPS MD
Implementing UDL in the Classroom
The technology now exists to make teaching and learning more adaptable to meet the needs of a wide range of students.
Proactive curriculum design is essential in light of limited resources and limited time to create individualized accommodations. But it will take time.
UDL Solutions Planning Table
Additional Web Resources: