There is more than one way to peel a potato. A comical idiom to explain there is more than one way to achieve the goal. This is the theme of UDL checkpoint 5.1, which is about multiple means of communication.
There is no single method of communication that works for all students to express their knowledge and understanding. Rather, only some methods will work for some students in some learning situations. While some learners express themselves with great clarity through the medium of art. But when it comes to written composition, for example, they may face a barrier in communication.
As such, educators must provide alternatives for students to express themselves. This provides a way for the student to communicate their skills, knowledge and understanding of the learning. It also reduces intrinsic bias against or towards students who do not or do possess skill in a single-mode-of-expression only option.
There may be times when a specific method, mode, or skill is required to communicate learning. In order to manage this, consider the following process.
- Define the learning goal
- Identify the non-negotiables
- Support a range of methods for the student to communicate their learning
Options for Students to Communicate Learning
Physical communication methods:
- installations, sculptures, dance or other body movements
- demonstrations, plays, theatre show
- presentations, such as video or in-person
Visual communication methods:
- movies, storyboards, animations
- drawings/illustrations/diagrams, photos, animations, infographics
- montages or collages, models, sculpture, touch-displays
- games, brochures, digital presentations, websites
- social media post threads
Auditory communication methods:
- podcasts or audio clips
- compositions, including music, songs, poems
- voice avatars, such as Lyrebird or Voice Changer
- surveys, case studies, interviews
Find other practical, easy-to-implement strategies for incorporating UDL strategies into learning engagements in the Universal Design for Learning section of this website.