Critical Elements of UDL Implementation
- Beliefs In Practice
- Critical Elements of Instruction
- Instructional Planning Process
- A Blueprint for UDL
AS A FRAMEWORK, WE BELIEVE UDL…
- Maintains high expectations for all learners.
- Maintains high expectations for all instruction.
- Clarifies the means to meet these high expectations.
- Engages all learners to maximize each learner’s potential.
- Purposefully provides multiple ways of representing information to meet the needs of all learners.
- Uses learner-centered proactive instructional design that includes both learning strategies and tools.
- Designs instruction that connects and supports the critical understanding of the big ideas.
- Embeds reflective instructional practice that rapidly responds to learners through continuous feedback, progress monitoring, and databased decision making.
- Purposefully integrates multiple means of expression for students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and synthesis of ideas.
- Leverages the supports, engagement, and flexibility offered by technology.
- Proactively overcomes instructional, curriculum, and environmental barriers that impede learner success.
- Leverages innovation that emerges from addressing the needs of diverse learners.
1. CLEAR GOALS
- Goals and desired outcomes of the lesson/unit are aligned to the established content standards.
- Goals are clearly defined and separate from means. They allow multiple paths/options for achievement.
- Teachers have a clear understanding of the goal(s) of the lesson and specific learner outcomes.
- Goals address the needs of every learner, are communicated in ways that are understandable to each learner and can be expressed by them.
2. INTENTIONAL PLANNING FOR LEARNER VARIABILITY
- Intentional proactive planning that recognizes every learner is unique and that meeting the needs of learners in the margins – from challenged to most advanced – will likely benefit everyone.
- Addressing learner strengths and weaknesses, considering variables such as perceptual ability, language ability, background knowledge, cognitive strategies and motivation.
- Anticipates the need for options, methods, materials and other resources – including personnel – to provide adequate support and scaffolding.
- Maintains the rigor of the lesson – for all learners – by planning efforts (1) that embed necessary supports and (2) reduce unnecessary barriers.
3. FLEXIBLE METHODS & MATERIALS
- Teachers use a variety of media and methods to present information and content.
- A variety of methods are used to engage learners (e.g., provide choice, address student interest) and promote their ability to monitor their own learning (e.g. goal setting, self-assessment and reflection).
- Learners use a variety of media and methods to demonstrate their knowledge.
4. TIMELY PROGRESS MONITORING
- Formative assessments are frequent and timely enough to plan/redirect instruction and support intended outcomes.
- A variety of formative and summative assessments (e.g. projects, oral tests, written tests) are used by the learner to demonstrate knowledge and skill.
- Frequent opportunities exist for teacher reflection and new understandings.
STEP 1: ESTABLISH CLEAR OUTCOMES
Establish a clear understanding of the goal(s) of the lesson and specific learner outcomes related to:
- The desired outcomes and essential student understandings and performance for every learner. (What will learning look like? What will students be able to do or demonstrate?)
- The desired big ideas and their alignment to the established standards within the program of study that learners should understand.
- The potential misunderstandings, misconceptions and areas where learners may meet barriers to learning.
- How will goals be clearly communicated to the learners, in ways that are understandable to all learners.
STEP 2: ANTICIPATE LEARNER VARIABILITY
- Curriculum barriers (e.g. physical, social, cultural or ability-level) that could limit the accessibility to instruction and instructional materials.
- Learner strengths and weaknesses specific to lesson/unit goals.
- Learner background knowledge for scaffolding new learning.
- Learner preferences for representation, expression and engagement.
- Learner language preferences.
- Cultural relevance and understanding.
STEP 3: MEASURABLE OUTCOMES AND ASSESSMENT PLAN
Prior to planning the instructional experience, establish how learning is going to be measured. Considerations should include:
- Previously established lesson goals and learner needs.
- Embedding checkpoints to ensure all learners are successfully meeting their desired outcomes.
- Providing learners multiple ways and options to authentically engage in the process, take action and demonstrate understanding.
- Supporting higher-order skills and encouraging a deeper connection with the content.
STEP 4: INSTRUCTIONAL EXPERIENCE
Establish the instructional sequence of events. At minimum plans should include:
- Intentional and proactive ways to address the established goals, learner variability and the assessment plan.
- Establish a plan for how instructional materials and strategies will be used to overcome barriers and support learner understanding.
- A plan that ensures high-expectations for all learners and the needs of the learners in the margins (i.e. struggling and advanced), anticipating that a broader range of learners will benefit.
- Integrate an assessment plan to provide necessary data.
Considerations should be made for how to support multiple means of…
Engagement: A variety of methods are used to engage students (e.g. provide choice and address student interest) and promote their ability to monitor their own learning (e.g. goal setting, self-assessment and reflection).
Representation: Teacher purposefully uses a variety of strategies, instructional tools and methods to present information and content to anticipate student needs and preferences.
Expression & Action: Student uses a variety of strategies, instructional tools and methods to demonstrate new understandings.
STEP 5: REFLECTION AND NEW UNDERSTANDINGS
Establish checkpoints for teacher reflection and new understandings. Considerations should include:
- Whether the learners obtained the big ideas and obtained the desired outcomes. (What data support your inference?)
- What instructional strategies worked well?
- How can instructional strategies be improved?
- What tools worked well?
- How could the use of tools be improved?
- What strategies and tools provided for multiple means of representation, action/expression and engagement?
- What additional tools would have been beneficial to have access to and why?
- Overall, how might you improve this lesson?
This resources provides a plan with essential elements and recommendations for designing and implementing UDL.