UDL as a Framework for Best Teaching Practices
Outline of Presentation to the College of Liberal Arts Master Teacher Initiative Seminar
March 28, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Whitaker Conference Room, Eddy 303
Craig Spooner, Instructional Designer and currently the Coordinator of Professional Development for the ACCESS Project
The ACCESS Project:
- A 3-year grant funded by the US Dept. of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education
- The project is lead by Cathy Schelly, who is very sorry she couldn't be here today. Cathy is the Dir. of CCP, in the Dept. of OT.
- Co-PIs for the project are Marla Roll, director of the ATRC, and Pat Burns, VP for Info and Instr Technology
- The project's full title is "ACCESS to Postsecondary Education through Universal Design for Learning"
What is UDL?
It's a conceptual framework for inclusive pedagogy. It's also a set of practical techniques for both classroom instruction and the creation of accessible course materials.
As you'll see in the video I'm about to show you, UDL is based on three broad Principles
- Presenting information and concepts in multiple ways and in a variety of formats.
- Allowing students multiple ways to express their comprehension and mastery of a topic.
- Encouraging students to engage with new ideas and information in multiple ways.
Who is affected by UDL?
- Students with diverse learning styles
- Students whose first language isn't English
- Students of different ages (from Boomers to Millennials)
- and students w/ disabilities, both apparent and non-apparent
Disabilities have been likened to an iceberg. Those we're most familiar with—like blindness, hearing impairment, or a physical disability that requires a wheelchair—are a very small percentage of the total. Less noticeable are issues like learning disabilities, attention disorders, and, sadly on the rise since the war, head trauma and brain injury.
The good news is that the things you can do the help students w/ disabilities are the same things you may already be doing to help all of your students—things like increasing engagement through active learning, addressing multiple learning modalities, offering course materials in multiple electronic formats, encouraging students to express their understanding to material in alternative ways...
The ACCESS UDL Video
- "Best Practices through Universal Design for Learning," run time 13 minutes
UDL Research at CSU
- students in Psy100 (n=1700)
- Training and discussions about UDL during the semester
- Pre and post surveys of instructors (Teaching Fellows) and students on RamCT
- Faculty interest in reaching more students
- Engaging students and finding new ways to assess their learning: overlap with the work of Sue Doe, Writing Integration Coordinator, gtPathways (gt = Guaranteed Transfer)
- Addresses the Expression component of UDL
- Striving to "institutionalize" UDL through existing program
- Examples: CTSS, TILT
- New "UDL" category under the N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation
- And, we have been nominated in the "group" category for that same award for our training and dissemination efforts.