Universal Design for Learning

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences, including cognitive neuroscience, that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences.[1]

Recognizing that the way individuals learn can be unique, the UDL framework, first defined by the Center for Applied Special Technology(CAST) in the 1990s,[2] calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:

  • Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
  • Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and
  • Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.[3][4]

Curriculum, as defined in the UDL literature, has four parts: instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments.[5] UDL is intended to increase access to learning by reducing physical, cognitive, intellectual, and organizational barriers to learning, as well as other obstacles. UDL principles also lend themselves to implementing inclusionary practices in the classroom.

Universal Design for Learning is referred to by name in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 (Public Law 110-315).[6] It is also mentioned in the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which in turn refers to a legal definition of the term in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998. The emphasis being placed on equal access to curriculum by all students and the accountability required by IDEA 2004 and No Child Left Behind legislation has presented a need for a practice that will accommodate all learners.[7]

Origins[edit]

The concept and language of Universal Design for Learning was inspired by the universal design movement in architecture and product development, originally formulated by Ronald L. Mace at North Carolina State University.[5] Universal design calls for designing and constructing buildings, homes, products, and so forth that, from the outset, accommodate the widest spectrum of users.[8] UDL applies this general idea to learning: that curriculum should from the outset be designed to accommodate all kinds of learners.[9] Educators have to be deliberate in the teaching and learning process in the classroom (e.g Preparing class learning profiles for each student). This will enable grouping by interest. Those students that have challenges will be given special assistance. This will enable specific multimedia to meet the needs of all students.

such as human learning environments, researchers at CAST looked to the neurosciences and theories of progressive education in developing the UDL principles.[10] In particular, the work of Lev Vygotsky and, less directly, Benjamin Bloom informed the three-part UDL framework.[11]

Some educational initiatives, such as Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and Universal Instructional Design (UID), adapt the Mace principles for products and environments to learning environments, primarily at the postsecondary level. While these initiatives are similar to UDL and have, in some cases, compatible goals, they are not equivalent to UDL and the terms are not interchangeable; they refer to distinct frameworks.[12] On the other hand, UDI practices promoted by the DO-IT Center operationalize both UD and UDL principles to help educators maximize the learning of all students.[13]

Implementation initiatives in the USA[edit]

In 2006, representatives from more than two dozen educational and disability organizations in the USA formed the National Universal Design for Learning Taskforce. The goal was to raise awareness of UDL among national, state, and local policymakers.[14]

The organizations represented in the National Task Force on UDL include the National School Boards Association, the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Easter Seals, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Association on Higher Education and Disability, Higher Education Consortium for Special Education (HECSE), American Occupational Therapy Association, National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), TASH, the Arc of the United States, the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Association (VECAP), the National Cerebral Palsy Association, and the Advocacy Institute.[15]

Activities have included sponsoring a Congressional staff briefing on UDL in February 2007 and supporting efforts to include UDL in major education legislation for both K-12 and postsecondary.

Research[edit]

Despite the popularity of UDL among educators and disability support professionals, little research has been conducted to evaluate its effectiveness as a model of good pedagogy. However, a number of studies have appeared in recent years, providing preliminary data in support of this instructional model.[16] For example, a recent study at Colorado State University found "recognizable changes in instructor behavior" from only a few hours of training in UDL principles and teaching practices.[17] The same study described the creation of a research questionnaire for students and instructors, based on UDL's three principles.

Related publications[edit]

A number of books and journal articles have been published on the subject of Universal Design for Learning. These include:

  • Learning to Read in the Digital Age (1998) by Anne Meyer and David H. Rose. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.
  • Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning (2002) by David H. Rose & Anne Meyer, with Nicole Strangman and Gabrielle Rappolt. Alexandria, VA: Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development;
  • The Universally Designed Classroom: Accessible Curriculum and Digital Technologies (2005), edited by David H. Rose, Anne Meyer, and Chuck Hitchcock. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
  • A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning (2006), edited by David H. Rose and Anne Meyer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
  • Burgstahler, Sheryl, & Cory, Rebecca. (2008). Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
  • Schelly, Catherine L., Davies, Patricia L., & Spooner, Craig L. (2011). Student Perceptions of Faculty Implementation of Universal Design for Learning. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(1), 17-28.

Summary[edit]

Universal Design for Learning is a promising, research-based framework approach for improving the quality of education across grade levels and subjects for all learners.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rose, DH, & Meyer, A (2002) Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
  2. ^ Orkwis, R, & McLane, K (1998). A curriculum every student can use: Design principles for student access. ERIC/OSEP Topical Brief No. ED423654. Reston, VA: ERIC/OSEP Special Project.
  3. ^ Rose & Meyer, 2002, p. 75;
  4. ^ CAST (2008) Universal design for learning guidelines 1.0. Wakefield, MA: CAST. Retrieved July 1, 2008 from http://www.cast.org/publications/UDLguidelines/version1.html
  5. ^ a b Rose & Meyer, 2002
  6. ^ Legislative Overview, Universal Design for Learning Task Force
  7. ^ Karger, J. (2005). What IDEA and NCLB suggest about curriculum access for students with disabilities. In DH Rose, A Meyer, & C Hitchcock, Eds. The Universally Designed Classroom: Accessible Curriculum and Digital Technologies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
  8. ^ Center for Universal Design, NCSU
  9. ^ Meyer & Rose, 2002
  10. ^ Rose & Meyer, 2002; CAST, 2008
  11. ^ CAST, 2008
  12. ^ McGuire, JM, Scott, SS, & Shaw, SF (2006). Universal design and its applications in educational environments. Remedial and Special Education 27(3), 166-175
  13. ^ Burgstahler, S., "Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction", 2011, "[1]"
  14. ^ National Taskforce on UDL, www.udl4allstudents.org
  15. ^ National Task Force on UDL, www.udl4allstudents.org
  16. ^ Roberts, Kelly D., Park, Hye J., Brown, Steven., & Cook, Bryan. (2011). Universal Design for Instruction: A Systematic Review of Empirically Based Articles. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(1), 5-15.
  17. ^ Schelly, Catherine L., Davies, Patricia L., & Spooner, Craig L. (2011). Student Perceptions of Faculty Implementation of Universal Design for Learning. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(1), 17-28.

External links[edit]