Implementing the principles of universal design in online learning means anticipating the diversity of students that may enroll in your course and planning accordingly. These ten key elements will greatly enhance the accessibility and usability of your course for students with and without disabilities.
Step 1: Develop content first, then design. Step 2: Provide simple, consistent navigation. Step 3: Include an accommodation statement. Step 4: Choose CMS tools carefully. Step 5: Model and teach good discussion board etiquette. Step 6: Use color with care. Step 7: Provide accessible document formats. Step 8: Choose fonts carefully. Step 9: Convert PowerPoint™ to accessible HTML. Step 10: If it's auditory make it visual; if it is visual make it auditory.
Michelle Meyer presents some excellent UDL strategies that can support the ELL Student. She describes a learner who has limited English proficiency and offers options to support that learner using the 3 UDL Principles with reference to specific UDL Guidelines and Checkpoints.
According to The Knowledge Loom, English language learners refer to students who have a first (home, primary or native) language other than English and are in the process of learning English. The article states there are at least three factors that can affect the amount of time it takes for a student to attain cognitive and academic sufficiency in English:
Jackie Gerstein shares Wes Fryer's "Making Media for the Curriculum" that illustrates the media that can support multiple means of expression and ways for all leanrers to demonstrate understanding of the content.
The following guidelines related to Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression are addressed when learners make personalized meaning of the content:
> Use social media and interactive web tools (e.g., discussion forums, chats, web design, annotation tools, storyboards, comic strips, animation presentations)
> Compose in multiple media such as text, speech, drawing, illustration, comics, storyboards, design, film, music, visual art, sculpture, or video
> Use web applications (e.g., wikis, animation, presentation)Use story webs, outlining tools, or concept mapping tools
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is used to design curriculum, lessons and instruction based on the diversity of the learners in their classroom.
How can UDL guide personalize learning to meet the Common Core?
When a teacher understands his/her learners through the UDL lens, he/she creates a flexible learning environment and provides opportunities for learner voice and choice. When lessons are designed using the UDL model, the lesson includes goals, methods, materials, tools, and assessments to reach and support the maximum amount of learners in the classroom.
Learners can use this model to help them understand how they learn best and what learning path they can take to become an independent expert learner, leveraging their natural abilities in the process. This process helps the learner create their personal learning profile that is understood by both teacher and learner.
The importance of this strategy is that both the teacher and the learner understand who the learner is and how they learn best. The learner and the teacher uses the UDL lens to personalize learning. So what does that look like?
An example of an 8th Grade unit on the Civil War serves as an example along with two students who can meet a number of CCSS when they choose and use the tools to support their learning.
Explore our new website, Personalize Learning (www.personalizelearning.com), to learn more about the research, models and educators who are personalizing learning.
Prof. Hacker shares a unique perspective on how Angry Birds can teach us about Universal Design for Instruction and Universal Design for Learning.
"I think that Angry Birds is so fun to play because it helps develop our meta-cognitive skills. Throughout playing Angry Birds, one must pay attention to the strategies being employed, adjust one’s play as needed to achieve certain goals and objectives, and transfer what you have learned about a bird’s capabilities several levels ago to the current level.
In short, Angry Birds is a powerful metaphor for learning. As I was recently playing the game, I could not help but think: what if my classroom was more like this? Would students have a better learning experience?"
Consider the following:
> Angry Birds involves practice without penalty.
> Angry Birds offers the opportunity for constant feedback.
> Angry Birds inherently teachers that different tools have different purposes.
> Angry Birds rewards perseverance.
> Angry Birds gives no time limit.
"No wonder we are all addicted to this game! Now if only we could ensure that our classrooms are always safe spaces to practice new strategies, offer students a range of possibilities for how to succeed in their learning, give our students constant feedback, and support knowledge transfer within and among our courses."