Self-Determination Skills and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) are a winning combination for students. UDL provides opportunities for students to have choices in three important areas of instruction:
- how they are engaged
- how new content is presented
- how they share what has been learned
Virginia’s I’m Determined Project offers tools and strategies to help students master the Core Components and take more initiative in their lives. The tools are all great, but the One Pager is particularly helpful to teachers focusing on UDL.
The One Pager asks students to identify their personal strengths, interests, preferences, and needs. While this is a great exercise for students, it is equally valuable information for teachers. Here are a few examples of how a student’s One Pager responses can inform your UDL instruction:
STRENGTHS- Knowing where a student’s talents lie can impact how you allow her to share what she has learned. For example, if she is particularly strong at building or creating, she would likely perform better on a project than on a multiple choice worksheet.
INTERESTS- What does your student enjoy doing outside of school? Knowing this information might really help you keep him engaged during lessons. His responses on the One Pager might clue you in to some powerful reinforcers or give you ideas for how to help him make personal connections to content.
PREFERENCES- This component of the One Pager allows students to express how they prefer to learn or work. Some students prefer to learn in groups and have opportunities to do projects. Other students prefer to work independently. Does your student prefer social opportunities or independent study? Does he prefer to have information presented visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically? His One Pager responses can help shape your teaching.
NEEDS- Are your students aware of the support and accommodations that they need in order to be successful? This is an important self-determination skill. It can also be helpful for you to know as you prepare your lessons. How will you present information to your students? How will you ask them to share what they have learned? Are all of your students’ needs being met during your lessons?
In the spirit of great UDL instruction, here is a video created by Chris and Tucker Bugaj. Tucker offers suggestions on how to become an Educational Experience Designer.