This post is the second post of my three-part UDL series. Post one, focused on Defining UD, DI, and UDL. This post further unpacks UDL. It also provides some recommendations for pedagogical approaches along with their research-based rationales. The final post of this series will share a lesson plan template and a wealth of actionable strategies to use for UDL implementation.
As educators aware of the diverse student population at OSU and as champions of inclusive education who anticipate and mitigate curriculum barriers our goal is to proactively and deliberately plan courses that value the incredible strengths, diversity, and needs of our learners before they even enroll in our courses, and before receiving a formal accommodation letter. Designing for learner variability means creating a course where content is accessible to the greatest number of diverse learners. Further, the implementation of UDL requires embedded scaffolds to support challenges.
UDL is grounded in advances in cognitive neuroscience research and offers a framework that integrates what we know about how the brain learns. UDL embraces course design principles that consider learner variability based on abilities, preferences, and prior education. UDL guides conscious decision making aligned with three broad learning networks of the brain:
In sum, UDL aligns this neurological pathway to three principles: 1) engaging learners in different ways; 2) presenting information using multiple methods; and 3) providing learners multiple options and opportunities to express their knowledge.
So new it hasn’t yet made it to the printer!
For a deeper dive into better understanding UDL and recommended pedagogies check out this newly created Pedagogical Approaches for Implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL)! Feel free to download this pdf or enter into our drawing to win a free pamphlet. Leave a relevant comment, connection, or question below to be entered! Three random winners will be selected! Good luck!
- Bass, B. & Lawrence-Riddell, M. (2020). UDL: A powerful framework. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/course-design-ideas/universal-design-for-learning/
- CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved 5/25/2020 from http://udlguidelines.cast.org
- College STAR. Introduction to Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved 1/27/2020 from https://www.collegestar.org/universal-design-for-learning
- Meyer, Rose, & Gordon, (2014). Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice. CAST Professional Publishing.
- Novak, K. (2016). UDL in the Cloud!. CAST Professional Publishing.
- UDL on Campus. Retrieved 5/1/2020 from http://udloncampus.cast.org/home
- 20-Minute Mentor – How Do I Go Beyond the Basics of Universal Design for Learning?
Brooke Howland is the associate director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Oregon State University. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement from the University of Northern Colorado and earned her Ed.D. in Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies from the University of Southern California. Her scholarly expertise is in teacher development and curriculum design. Prior to working at OSU, Dr. Howland taught in the School of Education for University of Southern California; University of California, Irvine; and currently teaches at University of California, Los Angeles.