What I can understand from the Universal Design of Learning, and how it applies to my lesson, is the focus of this post. My initial lesson was chosen in order to improve what I considered to be an incomplete or underdeveloped lesson. With this in mind, making my 2.0 revisions allowed me to correct some obvious gaps within my plan rather easily. Looking at my plan for a third time will allow me to use the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines in order to build a lesson that meets the learning needs and wide range of abilities found in a classroom. Thinking about my original 1.0 lesson, my initial design doesn’t align with the main UDL principles of Representation, Action and Expression and Engagement. I have not used multiple means in these three areas, which is a main component of UDL. Representation is the only situation where that may not be true; I have used a shape model as an example of the expected outcome and also written instructions for the students understanding.
To apply the Universal Design of Learning in a meaningful way I worked with two other colleagues in order to identify a learning need in which we could research in order to develop a better understanding of the learning need. We selected social economic status, which may be underlying factor of needs that students face when thinking about UDL. A few of these needs identified may be lower levels of literacy, comprehension and engagement (Considine, G., & Zappala, G. 2002).
Revisions made to my 1.0 lesson were guided by research that considered the above learning needs and guided by the UDL Guidelines-Educator Checklist.
- One change that I can make in my lesson is to provide a context or representation of the vocabulary, to do this I can use a picture along with the definition of “birds eye” view. This allows for not just clarity but comprehensibility.
- Another change would be to the introduction of my lesson, in the form of activating prior knowledge by giving the student an opportunity to explore an experience they have had of looking down on something. Representation works by using the recognition area of the brain, which recognizes patterns (CAST 2009).
Action and Expression:
- Using multiple media for construction and composition, as stated on the UDL guidelines and examples, I could have several writable devices available in replace of a mouse.
- Students that have not had ample experience with other peers in a structured setting may lack the skills needed to ask for support (tendency to demand, or not articulate their need for support). To help in this area I can provide prompts for appropriate ways to ask for peer support.
- Provide options for recruiting interest by allowing students to participate in the design of the lesson (CAST 2011). In order to increase engagement of this lesson I can have students determine what environment they feel appropriate to create diagram of other than their bedroom. As articulated by Cochran-Smith and Dudley-Marling “Along similar lines, instead of examining the extent to which teachers implement prescribed curricula with fidelity, sociocultural researchers might ask instead, “What learning affordances are created when teachers and students co-construct curriculum using different kinds of texts and other materials?”
Using every point on the UDL checklist for every lesson may prove to be unrealistic, knowing your student population and needs will help you determine which guidelines would be most effective to use. Also keeping in mind the more principles you use the further you will activate the recognition, strategic and affective networks.
CAST (2009). Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from http://udlonline.cast.org/page/module1/l144/
Cochran-Smith, M., & Dudley-Marling, C. (2012). Diversity in teacher education and special education: The issues that divide. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(4), 237. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1035630752?accountid=12598
Considine, G., & Zappala, G. (2002). The influence of social and economic disadvantage in the academic performance of school students in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 38(2), 129+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA90465652&v=2.1&u=msu_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=06a04828a415ebeed74bd4b6b6e79b83
Rose, D.H. & Gravel, J. (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines (V.2.0).Wakefield, MA: CAST.org. Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines