Universal Design for Learning (UDL) purpose is to help teachers meet the needs of all their students in an inclusive, general education classroom. UDL provides a research-based curriculum for teachers to incorporate flexible materials, instructional methods, learning goals, and assessments to meet the needs of all their students, including students who are visually impaired, auditory impaired, have a learning disability, speak English as a second language, etc. UDL emphasizes meeting the needs of the widest range of students by reducing the number of barriers in learning. UDL is all about giving students options and choices when it comes to their learning so they can learn in the best way possible.
UDL can be implemented in my future classroom in a variety of ways. I will demonstrate how I would use UDL by giving examples on how I would implement UDL in a science lesson about how to classify rocks by shape and color in a third grade classroom. My UDL learning goal for this lesson would be, “The students will learn about different kinds of rocks, their origin, and their characteristics through their preferred method and will complete a project to demonstrate their knowledge on the topic.” This learning goal allows students to choose their method of learning and assessment in a way that is comfortable and reasonable for their abilities. The students would have their choice of learning materials which would include a textbook, audio book, video, digital text, or website to supplement their learning. Giving students the choice of their instructional materials improves their engagement, comprehension on the subject, and their willingness to learn. Then, after they are finished researching about their findings about rocks, I would lecture as whole class using images, videos, and manipulatives while writing key words and concepts on the board. By using all these instructional methods, a teacher’s lesson delivery will reach all the students in the general education classroom. It is important to provide corrective feedback, provide multiple examples, give adjustable levels of challenge, and introduce vocabulary words before the lesson begins. Lastly, I would allow my students to choose their own form of assessment. Assessment options could be writing a paragraph, typing out their explanations, presenting their finding to the class, creating a poster, doing show-and-tell for the class, or by using a combination of images and explanations to show what they have learned from the lesson. For example, a student could show the class rocks they found outside and tell the class the type of rock it is based on color, size, and shape. A student who might choose do a show-and-tell might have trouble writing their thoughts clearly on paper. By allowing students to choose their form of assessment, students get to show more of what they have learned because they are not faced with obstacles.
UDL impacts all learners, even if the student does not have a barrier, in the classroom by it caters to their personal interests, learning style, and abilities and disabilities that allows all students to effectively learn material, show their creativity, and display what they have learned through a variety of ways. Essentially, UDL is all about giving students choices and giving students more individualized instruction based on their strengths and weaknesses.
Ohio Standard 4.2: Teachers use information about students’ learning and performance to plan and deliver instruction that will close the achievement gap.
Ohio Standard 4.5: Teachers differentiate instruction to support the learning needs of all students, including students identified as gifted and students with disabilities.
Ohio Standard 5.5: Teachers maintain an environment that is conducive to learning for all students.
Justification: By using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) teachers can meet the needs of all their students in an inclusive, general education classroom. UDL differentiates instruction, assignments, and assessments to break down the barriers of learning for students, who may be abled/disabled, so all students have the necessary support and resources for them to succeed in school. Teachers can also you the UDL in correspondence with student performance to provide the necessary means for students to show their knowledge. When utilizing UDL it creates an environment that is beneficial for all students.