Here are some questions to consider:
1. At the core of UDL is the premise that often the curriculum is disabled (and disabling!). It is not flexible; it often poses barriers, and consequently prevents rather than supports optimal learning experiences. Do you agree or disagree with this view? Why or why not? How might you include these ideas into your teaching?
2. What are the benefits of analyzing the curriculum for strengths and weaknesses rather than focusing on the student’s strengths and weaknesses? What are the challenges of this approach? How might you include these ideas into your teaching?
3. How can using a variety of materials and methods reach more of the students within your classroom? What are the benefits of doing so? What are the challenges? How might you include these ideas into your teaching?
4. What barriers are inherent in traditional assessments (informal (tests and quizzes), formal (MCAS)? What are the challenges in offering varied options for assessment? What else could we use to evaluate student learning and growth?
Universal Design for Learning Online Training Module
CAST Professional Learning offers free webinars to the public that focus on a variety of topics related to UDL and learning such as learner variability, lesson design, UDL implementation and more. Check our website often to see what webinars are coming up. Also, see below for recordings of our previous webinars!
When Congress reauthorized IDEA in 1997, they added the provision that ALL students on IEPs must now be considered for assistive technology. (As Dave Edyburn pointed out, 4 million more students were now eligible to be considered for AT. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 96% of students with disabilities attend schools within their districts which is the high-incidence population.)
http://udltheorypractice.cast.org/login (sign up for a free account)
Free digital textbook on UDL for Learning
By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:
- Identify curricular, environmental and systems barriers that may be unnecessarily limiting learners / performers in your school or organization
- Modify the materials you use in your instruction to make them universally accessible
- Modify your lesson plans or syllabus to incorporate greater flexibility into your classroom or course
- Design (or adapt existing) learning evaluations that are flexible
- Design or modify environmental features to minimize learning barriers
- Design or modify systems features (such as policies, procedures or technical infrastructures) to minimize learning or performance barriers
- Access and apply a wide array of resources, including practical guides and tips, that will support you in improving your universal design practices