Universal Design for Learning Website

Initial Post: Create an initial response that addresses the following areas.

a. Evaluate how the video has strengthened or otherwise changed your views about differentiated instruction? Do you have a deeper understanding and appreciation for differentiated instruction now? Why/ Why not?

b. Analyze the benefits for both students and the teacher when instruction follows the UDL framework when compared to the practice of isolating learners and planning for specific modifications for individual students.

c. Discuss what you learned in the video about setting up a non-threatening learning environment that does not isolate students. For example, what connections can you make between this and what you observed when analyzing the lesson during Week Three and when evaluating the example or resource in the Week Four Discussion 1.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two peers. As always, consider asking questions of peers about their responses to encourage further conversation. In your replies, you can discuss common themes you shared with your peer about differentiated instruction prior to and after watching the video. Additionally, discuss how the benefits your peer provides help guide learning away from isolation for students who are identified as needing modifications. Finally, consider in your replies what your peers shared regarding their week three lesson and post suggestions to help your peers further identify connections in ways that the lesson supports differentiated instruction. Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you to further the conversation. Remember, this continued interaction gives you further opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real world experiences with the topic of UDL and differentiated instruction.

Week Four Instructor Guidance Welcome to Week Four of EDU620: Meeting Individual Student Needs with Technology.  Please be sure to review the Week Four homepage and review the specific learning outcomes for the week, the schedule overview, the required and recommended resources, the introduction to this week’s focus, and a listing of the assessments to be completed. Next, be sure to read the Instructor Guidance in its entirety.


 In Week Three, you began building a foundational understanding UDL. This week we specifically analyze the principles of UDL. Moreover, you will analyze UDL in relation to how it can be used to reduce barriers for all students and not just those for students identified formally as having special instructional needs.

Intellectual Elaboration UDL Three Principles  Recall, UDL is an educational framework and set of principles that maximizes learning opportunities for all learners and it is based on three guiding principles. These principles can be applied to the overall design of a course and/or curriculum as well as to specific instructional strategies.  Recall that each principle has a set of detailed guidelines, which provide an evidence-based approach to understanding how learning can be improved through tools and resources. Each principle is aimed at helping educators improve how information is presented so as to engage students and create inclusive assessments and evaluations. (For a review of these principles, see the resource from CAST, 2007).

(CAST, 2008)

UDL Guidelines For each of the three principles, there are specific guidelines that help direct implementation into the classroom and curriculum.  These guidelines work as checkpoints and are flexible; they must be mixed and matched into the curriculum effectively. It is important to note that UDL checkpoints are not meant to be a prescription for how or what to teach, but a set of strategies that can be employed to overcome the barriers inherent in most existing curriculum that is designed for a one-size-fits-all approach (CAST, 2007).

Principle 1: Multiple Means of Representation For principle one, multiple means of representation, there are the three supporting guidelines:

1. provide options for perception (giving learners the option of watching a video to learn through listening),

2. provide options for language and symbols (use of word clouds, line graphs, circle graphs could all be used to provide the same information to learners, just in different formats), and

3. provide options for comprehension (creating a PowerPoint presentation or instructional video on the subject).

For an overview of principal one, visit the Universal Design for Learning website (Links to an external site.) . Principle 2: Provide Multiple Means for Action and Expression For principle two, multiple means for action and expression, there are three supporting guidelines:

1.  provide options for physical action (students can put on a play or building a diorama to represent learning),

2. provide options for expressive skills and fluency (offer a variety of multiple media applications such as text, speech, drawing, illustration, design, film, music, sculpture or video to demonstrate learning), and

3. provide options for executive functions( post goals, objectives and schedules of when assignments are due in the classroom as a visual reminder).

For an overview of principal two, visit the Universal Design for Learning website (Links to an external site.) . Principle 3: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement For principle three, multiple means for action and expression, there are three supporting guidelines:

1. Provide Options for Recruiting Interest (provide students the option to participate in the design of classroom activities),

2. Provide Options for Sustaining Effort and Persistence (provide learning opportunities that allow for active participation, exploration and experimentation, and

3. Provide Options for Self Regulation (create an accepting and supportive classroom climate, were students are free to take risks and experiment with their learning).

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