Home / Forums / Winter 2021 Equity Discussion Forum / Supporting learners using UDL Framework

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  • Naomi Ramage
    Guest
    Post count: 65

    For the first assignment of the Foundations for Equity course, the participants were challenged to consider how our own personal learning preferences affected our instruction. While we were asked to examine our practices through the lens of the V-A-K inventory, that put me in this mindset of checking my biases when looking at how to make instruction more student-centered rather than instructor-centered. The CAST visual chart showing the categorization of the UDL checkpoints (I can’t find a link to the chart, but I’m referring to the green/purple/blue columns with the why/what/how of learning) can seem overwhelming at first, but it makes a nice checklist for how I’d like to see my class look. The question is now how do we get there? Where do I start? To make sure I’m focusing less on myself when deciding where to start consciously changing/improving instruction, I consciously focused in on areas that I feel do not come most natural and comfortable to me–for me, that was most aspects of the purple “what” column. If I am totally honest, as a self-proclaimed “resourceful and knowledgeable learner,” I probably overcompensate for lack of diversification in means of engagement and even more so in actions and expression by providing a whole lot of representation.

    For my multilevel Pre-HSE classes, the learners mostly work on an individualized learning platform, which is wonderfully designed with many aspects of universal design in mind. However, as the content is mostly delivered via videos and the assessment is minimal, the students can become very passive, and I worry they’re not really retaining what they’re learning. They have also said the videos are boring, so I worry about engagement for many as well. What I’m going to do differently is set aside one class per week that is designated solely to supporting students in accessing the curriculum. While I have demonstrated “effective note-taking” in the past, I have only shown one way to do it. One thing I am doing right away to help students is providing a note-taking format with customizable questions and sections for students to fit to their own learning preferences and goals. That last row in the CAST chart (“Internalize”) are guiding the pre-lesson goal-setting and post-lesson reflection questions. For the bulk of the note-taking, students will be able to choose to outline their notes by outline, drawing, and/or concept-mapping. I will help students decide which questions and style are best for them for note-taking, and then they will report back with their results. I will be able to start this next week when my classes return for their last quarter. I *really* hope the extra support will help keep students engaged and learning beyond the quarter well into the summer.

    Tara Schwab
    Guest
    Post count: 65

    I hope so too! I am confident that these changes will benefit your students. I agree that this can be overwhelming, but I think focusing on a few methods to infuse UDL at a time are great!

    Sarah Goldammer
    Guest
    Post count: 65

    Naomi,
    Wow! Such great thought into how to best support your students in a way that is meaningful for them! I agree with Tara that you will see nice results. We would love to read the next chapter in this story! What fantastic applications for their daily life in what you are teaching them as well. You are providing them with skills that will make them well rounded and more independent.

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