Universal design for learning (UDL) has three pillars: multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement. Previous posts have explained these in more detail. But how does that work out in practice? It’s one thing to talk and read about it. It’s another to actually incorporate UDL into the curriculum. An article in the Learning Innovation Exchange spells it out.
Christina Galliou has devised a checklist based on the three pillars. She links usual practice to alternatives with particular relevance to online learning. Many of the alternatives are easy to achieve such as providing documents in Word format as well as PDF.
Multiple means of representation:
|transcripts and visuals
|file types for editing
|provide Word versions
|information in one language
|tools for vocabulary, dictionaries
|limited supply of background knowledge
|concept maps to make connections, bridge concepts
Multiple means of action and expression:
use assistive technologies
alternative keyboards, voice control, text to speech (vice versa)
|use multiple media
|text, audio, graphics, videos, interactive web tools
|provide support in learning strategy development
|prompts, guides, checklists, planning templates
|progress charts, hints and cues
|flexible assessment, self assessment strategies
|review, peer feedback, role playing, checklists, rubrics
Multiple means of engagement:
|purpose of lesson is clear to learner
|provide learning objectives
|capture learner interest
|relevant material, real world examples
|rubrics, checklists, reflection
|maintain effort and persistence
|scaffolds, group work, differentiated degree of difficulty in activities.
The title of the article is, Applying Universal Design for Learning. The focus is on creating an inclusive online educational environment. However, the principles apply to all learning situations and all age groups. The website has more articles on learning including Designing the ‘experience’ not the lecture.
The three pillars
CAST UDL guidelines graphic is a quick reference guide to the three pillars. Click on the picture to download the chart.
There is more on UDL in the Universal Design for Learning section of this website.