Before diving deeper into the UDL Guidelines, it’s important to reflect on why UDL is so necessary. The three UDL principles were designed to ensure that all students become expert learners. If you’d like to learn more about what it means to be an expert learner, check out video explanation (14 min), with an embedded Google Slideshow to help clarify what it means to be an expert learner.
Now, back to UDL Now! Chapter 2 focuses on the UDL Guidelines, which are teaching strategies that are necessary to meet the needs of all learners. It’s easier to appreciate the Guidelines when you realize the variability among your own PLC group.
To provide an analogy, you’re going to complete an activity to prove how different you all are.
Here’s the question: What is your favorite shoe and why? Choose one of the following activities and complete in the space below:
♦ Write a short paragraph about your favorite shoe.
♦ Write an ode to your favorite shoe.
♦ With colored pencils, pens, or pencils, draw a picture of your favorite shoe.
♦ If you have no artistic ability and no idea what to draw, pretend the following is your favorite shoe and color it.
When finished, share your favorite shoe with the group and note how different you all are. Imagine you were all forced to wear the same shoe… how would you feel? Know, also consider why being an expert learning is important when choosing the perfect shoes for yourself!
Second, complete one or all of the following activities.
- Watch the video UDL at a Glance
- Read more detailed information about the UDL Guidelines from CAST’s web site.
- Watch the Rose and Rose video that defines learner variability, Learner Variability and Universal Design for Learning. Throughout the video, there will be checkpoints for discussion, pause the video and discuss these points. Note: You can watch the video, view the powerpoint slides, or print out the transcript to read.
- Read this short summary of “What is UDL?” and view the following picture. When finished reading, reflect on the following question: How do you think each of these areas of the brain affects your own learning? Think about what you recognize in your environment, how you act upon it, and why you act upon it.
The UDL Guidelines help all students to become expert learners. To learn more about what it means to be an expert learner, explore some of hte resources that follow.
- Read this blog in the Swift Newsletter, “Creating Expert Learners in Every Classroom,” by Elizabeth Stein, an experienced UDL co-teacher and the author of Co-Teaching Through UDL
- Learn about the continuum of developing expert learners in this blog. Discusses how the goal is that students transition from being participants in their own education to leaders of it.
- This peer-reviewed article, Helping Students become Expert Learners discusses three specific strategies that align to UDL: 1) meta-attention, 2) meta-comprehension and 3) metacognitive reflection. Learn more about what the research says.
- This video is of David Rose, the father of UDL, as he explains what an expert learner is. The video is closed captioned if it’s helpful.