What is UDL?
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning (www.udlcenter.org) defines it as a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. There are three brain networks associated with UDL.
RECOGNITION NETWORK (the “what” of learning) deals with presenting information in different ways so that it can be accessed by all students. Strategies that promote the RECOGNITION NETWORK:
- Incorporate all five senses into your instruction. Multisensory instruction allows for more accurate recall & improved problem solving.
- Help students connect new information to personal experiences and previously learned material.
- More ideas from the CAST site
STRATEGIC NETWORK (the “how” of learning) deals with allowing different ways for students to participate in learning and communicate what they have learned. It is important to provide a variety of ways for students to demonstrate what they have learned. It is equally important to give students some choice in how they will do this. (Hint: interactive opportunities will almost always be favored over worksheets and written tests.) Here are more great ideas from the CAST site.
Here are some suggested activities to use with each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy:
- KNOWLEDGE (visuals, examples)
- COMPREHENSION (presentations, review)
- APPLICATION (sketches, role play)
- ANALYSIS (discussion, exercises)
- SYNTHESIS (case studies, projects)
- EVALUATION (simulations, appraisals)
AFFECTIVE NETWORK (the “why” of learning) deals with designing instruction that is engaging and motivating to students. Learners differ in the ways that they are motivated to learn. Affect may be influenced by culture, background knowledge, or neurology.
How can you motivate your students to learn?
- Think about your favorite teacher. What can you borrow from his/her teaching style?
- Create lessons that involve playing games, acting out, discussion, music, props, etc.
- Find powerful ways to reinforce individual students for good effort.
- Have fun! A happy, engaged teacher is a more effective teacher.