As I collaborate with educators from around the world, I often encounter a common concern: "This approach sounds incredible, but I'm already overwhelmed with planning. I just don't have the time to create additional resources to eliminate multiple barriers." In response, my initial advice is quite straightforward: shift your focus from planning individual lessons to establishing routines.
As educators, we often use the same instructional practices in our content areas. For example, as a high school and middle school English teacher, I often presented students with challenging texts - be it digital text, a video, or podcast - and prompted them to answer comprehension questions. I often required them to either write the answers to the questions or have a discussion. Although there was variety, until I learned about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), there wasn’t often choice. And when there was a choice, it was because I spent so much time predicting barriers and eliminating those barriers through design. For. Each. Lesson. I was reinventing the wheel day after day.
If you're starting to sweat and say, “This is the worst endorsement for UDL I’ve ever seen,” fear not - there's a solution! Allow me to introduce you to LUDIA! LUDIA is an AI chatbot designed by two UDL practitioners, Beth Stark and Jérémie Rostan, to support the implementation of UDL.
LUDIA is an AI chatbot designed to support the implementation of UDL.
To write this blog, I prompted LUDIA, “I have a diverse class. When I pose comprehension questions based on content standards, how can I universally design the question/answer experience?” In seconds, it responded (text response):
Using this advice, I have some amazing, flexible routines. And just like that, they can be yours!! Every time you present comprehension questions, regardless of your subject area, you have the flexibility to offer students the choice of reading questions aloud in small groups, utilizing text-to-speech technology, or reading them independently. Following that, you can give students the option to either use the Brain Dump Routine or the Collaborative Note-Taking Routine while you circulate and provide feedback. Finally, each student can select their preferred method to share a response using the Response Choice Routine. This is UDL at its best.
I've begun sharing LUDIA in my presentations, and educators have LOVED it. So, the next time you're feeling pressed for time during your planning, give LUDIA a try. If you’re feeling especially overwhelmed, prompt her to recommend routines, not specific lesson ideas, so you can establish classroom habits that enable students to explore, self-assess, take responsibility, and, most importantly, achieve higher levels of learning. Then, once students are more expert in their learning, you can begin to co-plan specific content lessons with your new robot bestie!