Title

Using Universal Design to Reach Every Type of Student

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The poster session goes hand in hand with the first two strands: Academic Achievement and Leadership and Social and Emotional Skills. The use of Universal Design Learning (UDL) techniques relates to simple ways educators can use to “teach to” all students, even the ones most teachers give up on or ignore because they do not “fit” the mold.

Brief Program Description

Universal Design Learning relates to how educators can revamp everyday instruction to meet the needs of neurodiverse learners. Current research in neuroscience reveals that our learning styles are as unique as our fingerprints. This poster session will provide persons with insight on how to ‘reinvent” their teaching strategies and remake them into activities that relate to all learners.

Summary

Current research in neuroscience reveals that our learning styles are as unique as our fingerprints, yet today most educators teach all their students in the same way. They lump every student in the same group, then stand back and wonder why we have “lost” so many along the way. We look at the importance of student learning as crucial for being successful in life, yet do not take responsibility for only using one teaching technique. We often decide that those that fail, cannot learn and were bound to drop out anyway. The components of the Universal Design Learning method are simple to use. Universal Design does not involve buying new equipment, nor hiring more staff. Universal Design examines what educators are doing in their classrooms to teach their students. However, it takes us one step beyond this. It helps them evaluate their students’ needs, and create different techniques to teach the same objective in their classroom. They learn to incorporate the same objective in the various ways needed by every student. By using multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement with their students, educators can help all students be successful. The rewriting and use of various techniques requires time and planning from the educator, but can benefit all students by reinforcing each child’s individual needs. Universal Design Learning also maintains high expectations for all students while accommodating the diverse needs within the classroom via individualization of instruction, thus it is a good fit for all students. Universal Design has three principles that help educators reach their students. The first one is multiple means of representation of the materials being presented to students. The second is multiple means of action and expression by the learners that provide feedback to educators. The third is providing multiple means of engagement that "fit" the various types of learners found in our classrooms across America.

Evidence

The goal of education in the 21st century is not simply the mastery of content knowledge or use of new technologies. It is the mastery of the learning process. Education should help turn novice learners into expert learners—individuals who want to learn, who know how to learn strategically, and who, in their own highly individual and flexible ways, are well prepared for a lifetime of learning. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) helps educators meet this goal by providing a framework for understanding how to create curricula that meets the needs of all learners from the start. The UDL Guidelines, an articulation of the UDL framework, can assist anyone who plans lessons/units of study or develops curricula (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) to reduce barriers, as well as optimize levels of challenge and support, to meet the needs of all learners from the start. They can also help educators identify the barriers found in existing curricula. However, to fully understand these Guidelines one must first understand what UDL is. The UDL Guidelines are organized according to the three main principles of UDL that address representation, expression, and engagement. For each of these areas, specific "Checkpoints" for options are highlighted, followed by examples of practical suggestions. In addition, Examples and Resources to guide implementation as well as a listing of the Research Evidence are offered for every checkpoint. Learn about the changes in UDL Guidelines 2.0 The pedagogical, neuroscientific, ad practical underpinnings of UDL are also discussed at greater length in books such as Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age by Rose and Meyer (ASCD, 2002). The Universally Designed Classroom (Rose, Meyer, and Hitchcock, Eds.; Harvard Education Press, 2005), and A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning(Rose and Meyer, Eds.; Harvard Education Press, 2006).

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Celia B. Hilber is an Associate Professor whose background extends beyond the college classroom. She began her educational career working with child whose primary mode of learning is Sign Language in the South Texas city of McAllen along the U.S. Mexico border. After receiving her M.A. at CSUN she moved to the Salt Lake City area to work with Deaf students, and later moved to Alabama to administer programs for children and youth at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. She has been teaching in the College of Education at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL since 1997.

Dr. Nina King taught in public schools in Gadsden, AL for more than 10 years. She began teaching at Jacksonville State University over 20 years ago in the College of Education. She is an Associate Professor, and teaches and supervises interns completing their undergraduate degree in the PK through fifth grade classroom. She has been involved in JSU's CORE Academy for the last four years, and heads the Cafe 21 Technology initiative.

Ms. Valerie Gamble's background began in the public schools of Alabama. She is a professor in the Special Education Department at Jacksonville State University. She has over 15 years of experience in this area, mentoring students and teaching staff as they strive to meet the needs of all learners, especially children with Special Needs.

Ms. Janet Bavonese is currently defending her thesis at the University of Alabama, and will receive her Ph.D. in Spring of 2015. She began her teaching career in Florida, where she received her M.A. degree. She returned to Alabama where she served as a Reading Coach until she began teaching in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the College of Education four years ago. She is currently the Department Head for the Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education.

Keyword Descriptors

Universal Design Learning, Students with sensory disabilities, Engagement of all learners, Neurodiverse learners

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Using Universal Design to Reach Every Type of Student

Harborside Center East and West

Universal Design Learning relates to how educators can revamp everyday instruction to meet the needs of neurodiverse learners. Current research in neuroscience reveals that our learning styles are as unique as our fingerprints. This poster session will provide persons with insight on how to ‘reinvent” their teaching strategies and remake them into activities that relate to all learners.