Universal Design for L earning (UDL)

What is UDL ?
UDL is an approach to designing
curriculum, instruction, materials and
content to benefit students of all learning
styles without adaptation or retrofitting.
UDL provides for equal access to
learning – not just to information.
UDL removes the barriers to access not the challenges…
Origin of UDL –
UDL really got its start with the advent of the civil rights and special
education legislation that emphasized the right of all students to a
free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive
environment. It really jumped with advancements in architectural
design (disabilities), development in educational technology (print)
and discoveries in brain research.
Why UDL ?
• Simply because not all students are alike!
 Learning styles/skills/needs/interests differ… and
 Some students speak English as a 2nd language…
 We have younger / older students…
 We have students with disabilities
 Teachers’ methodologies are inconsistent…
Why UDL ? (cont.)
Neurosciences reveals that learning differences are as
varied and unique as our own DNA or fingerprints.
3 Primary Brain Networks Come Into Play
1. Recognition Network (“The What”) – Gathering of
facts and categorizing what we see, hear and read.
2. Strategic Network (“The How”) – Planning,
performing tasks, organizing and expressing ideas.
3. Affective Network (“The Why”) – How learners get
engaged and stay motivated. How they are challenged,
excited or interested.
UDL’s Framework
3 Main Principles
1. Representation
2. Expresssion
3. Engagement
1st - Representation
Various methods of presentation can allow
students to learn in their
preferred domain.
Ex. – Placing content online allows students to gain the
information by lecture and text. Additionally, students with
visual impairment can tape record the lecture – capturing the
notes in alternate format. Utilizing technology – such as putting
information on a power point, podcast, webinar, etc. will all help
to meet the needs of the multitude of diverse learners.
2nd - Expression
Expression allows students to have
multiple means of demonstrating mastery.
Ex. – Allowing students to demonstrate or express knowledge in a
subject by doing an oral presentation vs. writing a paper or by
taking a test. Using technology for students with a speech
impediment (unable to present the information orally), another
example would be to use technology to help students with a fine
motor disability (difficulty taking a written exam).
3rd - Engagement
Providing flexible ways with course content,
teaching strategies, technology, etc. for
students to engage in the learning process.
Ex. – Having a variety of on-line options that allow foreign
language students to practice fluency and comprehension at a
reading level that is appropriate for them.
A big part of UDL has to be providing
Accommodations Manual
Ohio Department of Education
If one curriculum –
or one size does not fit all –
How do we create a curriculum that
takes the individual needs into
This is where design comes into play….
Curriculum Accommodations
Items to Consider
Quantity – items the learner will need to complete
Time – the time allotted for learning
Level of Support – what is needed for student to be on task
Input – the way instruction is delivered
Output – the way the student needs to respond
Difficulty – the skill level needed/rules to go by etc.
Participation – extent learner is actively engaged with task
Alternate Goals – goals/outcome expectations w/same materials
Substitute Curriculum – differentiate instruction & materials
A Few Dos and Don’ts
When Selecting Accommodations
make accommodations decisions based on individual needs.
document instruction & assessment accommodations (IEP/504)
evaluate accommodations used by the child.
get input about accommodations from teachers,
parents/students, and administration.
assume accommodations can be used for assessments.
assume that accommodations remain the same year after year.
provide an accommodation for the first time on day of the test.
confuse Accommodations with Modifications….
do not change
the curriculum…
the barriers…
What Accommodations Would You Make?
Visual Perception Problems?
1. Student works very slowly on printed assignments or tests
2. Skips words or reverses words when reading aloud
3. Has difficulty w/written directions from board/printed page
Auditory Problems?
1. Has difficulty following a series of oral directions
2. Has difficulty remembering what is heard
3. Has trouble distinguishing between sounds/words - ex. d-t-e
Group Activity - Take problem assigned and come up with
accommodations/interventions and who you would involve with
your course of action(s).
(Groups of ____ - 1 Person from Group to Share)
UDL Implementation
More Examples
1. Use peer mentoring, group discussions and cooperative
learning situations rather strictly lecture.
2. Use guided notes – enabling students to listen for concepts
without copying notes off of the overhead.
3. Periodically update course materials.
4. Provide a comprehensive syllabus / develop study guides.
5. Differentiate instructional methods, provide illustrations,
handouts, auditory and visual aids.
Implementation – cont.
6. Clarify feedback or instructions – ask for/pose questions.
7. Relate a new topic to one already learned- using real-life
examples whenever possible.
8. Permit/encourage the use of adaptive technology.
9. Give frequent exams – shorter in length.
How does UDL relate to OTES ?
Representation – Expression - Engagement
1. Instructional Planning:
Focus for Learning
Assessment of Data
Prior Content (Knowledge/Sequence/Connection)
Knowledge of Students
2. Instruction and Assessment:
Lesson Delivery
Classroom Environment
Assessment of Student Learning
3. Professionalism:
Professional Responsibilities
UDL actually incorporates and supports many current
research based approaches to teaching and learning –
here are just a few:
• Cooperative Learning
• Differentiated Instruction
• Performance Based Assessment
• Multisensory Teaching
 Key Components - Flexibility and Variety
UDL in Relation to the
OIP 5 Step Process ?
1. Collect and Chart the data
2. Analyze the data
3. Establish shared expectations for
implementing specific changes
4. Implement changes consistently and
5. Collect, chart, and analyze post data.
For a Moment…
• Imagine walking into a classroom during a science
lesson and seeing this scene:
Students scattered around the room – some at
laptops using screen reading software, some at
IPADs, listening to them – others using IPODs –
touching them to record notes and some reading
the textbook and taking notes on paper.
What would you think?
Poor teaching?
Bad classroom? or
UDL classroom?
Know Your Learner
Think Inclusively
Step into their shoesA student has a hearing impairment or a
noticeable physical disability – we may be
sympathetic to their needs but do we really know
or understand what they are experiencing –
especially on an emotional level?
For a Staff Meeting, Board
or Community Meeting
Items to consider:
 How well do I know my audience?
 Do I welcome diverse ideas or questions?
 Do I establish parameters?
 Is the room arranged appropriately?
 Have I chosen the right room?
 Is my material for presentation appropriate?
 Am I engaging my audience?
 Is your approach different from above?
Today’s Classrooms
It is estimated that 57% of students with
disabilities spend 80% of their day in the general
education classroom. If we pay attention to our
Design for Learning, these students will not only
be successful and want to learn more - these
successful students will help to provide
for a more positive learning environment for
“If we recognize the limits of
normal education, overcoming
those limits will make education
better for everyone…”
Dr. David Rose - Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST)
UDL in Music
Video: From Bach to GaGa
Music Lessons for Special Education
Dr. David Rose –CAST ( Center for Applied Technology )
Expression at 31:00 (6 min.)
Disability in Music – 58:30 (3.5 min.)

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