Welcome to Inclusive Education.


Universal Design for Learning

http://inclusive.tki.org.nz/guides/universal-design-for-learning/

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a research-based framework that helps teachers plan learning to meet the diverse and variable needs of all students.

Find out how flexible supports for learning can be embedded into an environment and made available to everyone. Explore how hidden barriers to learning can be identified and minimised.

Consider how UDL can be used beyond the classroom to underpin the design of more inclusive home-school communications, professional learning options, and community events.

 

 

Understanding UDL basics (US)

Universal Design for Learning helps teachers optimise their teaching and learning. Use it to create a more inclusive, flexible environment, where barriers to learning are minimised with supports and options available to all students.

An animated introduction to UDL that describes how to identify and minimise barriers to learning and increase the flexibility and effectiveness of the learning environment for all.

Source: Inspiring Education

Closed captioning available in player

Suggestions and resources

Make it work for everyone (image)
Cartoon - Clearing a path for people with special needs clears the path for everyone.
Clearing a path

Clearing a path for people with special needs clears the path for everyone.

Source: Michael. F. Giangreco

Make it work for everyone
Where UDL began

The areas of knowledge that influenced UDL

The development of UDL was influenced by three areas of knowledge:

  1. cognitive neuroscience – evidence that all learners are highly variable, but that we can systematically predict three areas of differences and plan for them

  2. assistive technology – the recognition that technology solutions for one student may benefit others

  3. architecture and engineering – the universal design of buildings and products that considered the needs of the widest range of users 

Where UDL began
Fix the curriculum not the kids (video)
Introduction to UDL

Dr David Rose, one of the founders of UDL, talks about how UDL evolved.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: CAST: Center for Applied Special Technology (US)

Fix the curriculum not the kids

Resources and downloads

Universal Design for Learning: Theory and practice (multimedia version)

Free multimedia information and teacher stories. User will need to login on first visit. Developed by CAST's founders Anne Meyer and David H. Rose, along with David Gordon.

Origins of UDL

A succinct overview of the origins of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), from the Maryland State Department of Education, US.

Education that fits: Review of international trends in education of students with special education needs

An outline of the international trends in the education of students with special educational needs, with the aim of informing the Ministry of Education’s current review of special education. Chapter 16 is focused on Universal Design for Learning. Author: Dr David Mitchell, University of Canterbury.

3 principles of UDL (image)
3 principles of UDL based on the work of CAST Center of Applied Special Technologies
UDL principles

The UDL principles highlight areas where we can minimise barriers to learning and increase supports and options at the outset.

Each principle has a related set of guidelines and checkpoints to help teachers create more inclusive learning environments.

Source: Adapted from CAST UDL

3 principles of UDL
UDL at a glance (US) (video)
UDL at a glance

An introduction to the research-based approach, UDL. A useful starting point to support the selection of digital tools and resources that will match and meet the diverse needs of students across the curriculum.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: CAST – Centre of Applied Special Technology (US)

UDL at a glance (US)
UDL and technology (NZ) (video)
Universal Design for Learning

Chrissie Butler provides an overview of the three principles of UDL.

She describes how we can use them to select digital technologies to meet the diverse learning needs of students across the curriculum.

View transcript

Source: EDtalks (NZ)

UDL and technology (NZ)
UDL principles (image)
UDL Guidelines theory and practice
UDL Guidelines: Theory & Practice Version

Revised version of the UDL Guidelines found in the new book UDL Theory and Practice. The principles, guidelines and research basis are the same, however the order of the principles and the guidelines have changed.

Source: National Center on Universal Design for Learning

UDL principles

Resources and downloads

Universal Design for Learning guidelines

A one-page summary of the UDL guidelines and associated checkpoints.

Universal Design for Learning guidelines – Learning wheel

An interactive version of the UDL guidelines and checkpoints linked to recommended online resources and activities. Created by the Maryland State Department of Education and Howard County Public School in partnership with CAST. Note: not accessible using tablets.

UDL Guidelines: Educator worksheet – version 2.0

Completed example of a teacher using CAST’s UDL guidelines - Educator worksheet to increase flexibility of lesson design and options and supports for students.

Universal Design for Learning: Chapter 4 in Universal Design for Learning: Theory and practice (multimedia version)

Free multimedia information and teacher stories introducing Universal Design for Learning. User will need to login on first visit. Developed by CAST's founders Anne Meyer and David H. Rose, along with David Gordon.

UDL Guidelines: Theory & Practice Version

Alternate version of the UDL Guidelines found in the new book UDL Theory and Practice

Using headphones (image)
Students using headphones
Students use headphones when they need them

Make resources to support learning preferences available to all students (for example, headphones).

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Using headphones
Benefits of text-to-speech (video)
Impact of the Missouri Text-to-Speech Pilot Program

Senior students describe the difference that having access to text-to-speech has made to their achievement.

Text-to-speech tools can be offered to all students across the curriculum.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: National Center on Aim (US)

Benefits of text-to-speech
Digital technologies – Silverstream School (NZ) (video)
Digital technologies support all learners

Primary teacher, Linda Ojala describes her inclusive approach to utilising a range of digital technologies to meet the wide and varied needs of students in her year 3 class.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Digital technologies – Silverstream School (NZ)
Netbooks at Parkvale Primary (NZ) (video)
1:1 Netbooks enabling excellence

A student with dyspraxia talks about how writing in an online environment supports him to share his ideas.

Writing with a pencil created a barrier to his participation and success.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Enabling e-Learning (NZ)

Netbooks at Parkvale Primary (NZ)
Benefits of digital text

Digital text can be:

  1. adjusted so that the style, size, and colour of fonts are the best fit for the student

  2. converted to speech using text-to-speech tools; these can help students who need support with reading, prefer to listen to information rather than (or in addition to) looking at it, or who use it to help with editing

  3. hyperlinked to definitions and background information; these can help students with new vocabulary, with comprehension, and can provide background knowledge when the subject is unfamiliar

  4. easily linked to and from other online environments and documents

  5. accessed, collaboratively edited 24/7.

Benefits of digital text

Resources and downloads

Curricular opportunities in the digital age

This paper explores how digital technologies can be used to design learning that is flexible enough to adapt readily to individual differences. Authors: Dr David Rose and Jenna Gravel.

Free technology toolkit for UDL in all classrooms

A collection of free tools and resources, aligned to Universal Design for Learning approach, that support students in their learning.

Universal Design for Learning iPad strategies: Text-to-speech

A video with US educator Kit Hard demonstrating how to introduce text-to-speech to access digital text. No captions or transcript available

Software for learning

The Enabling e-Learning website provides a range of stories from New Zealand primary and secondary schools describing how they have used technologies as part of their learning design for students.

UDL at Silverstream School (NZ) (video)
UDL and inclusive classrooms

Primary teacher, Linda Ojala describes how she uses a UDL approach to underpin inclusive practice.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

UDL at Silverstream School (NZ)
Text-to-speech in the primary classroom (video)
Universal supports in the UDL classroom

Canadian primary teacher, Kelly Flascha describes how she encourages the use of text-to-speech as a support across the curriculum for all learners.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: edpublicschools (Canada)

Text-to-speech in the primary classroom
Conversations using Voicethread

Using Voicethread

Two teachers at Tilden Middle school describe how they use Voicethread as a flexible tool to support communication skills.

The teachers selected Voicethread as it is a web-based tool that:

  • supports group commenting on pictures, videos and other media using voice, text, and video
  • provides a structured framework for having a conversation
  • gives students time to rework and re-record their responses if they want to refine them.

View the Voicethread and Communication video on SchoolTube.

Conversations using Voicethread
UDL in the VLN

In the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) there is a group dedicated to exploring UDL in the New Zealand context.

Popular discussion threads include:

  1. Knowing my learners

  2. Effective supports and approaches related to dyslexia

  3. Where am I heading with UDL?

  4. UDL, access and creativity

  5. How can technologies play a useful part in supporting students as they transition into new environments?

UDL in the VLN

Resources and downloads

Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice

This text by by Anne Meyer, David H. Rose and David Gordon (Kindle and paperback editions) provides a comprehensive introduction to UDL, its impact and implementation. Available from Amazon.

Universal Design for Learning: Theory and practice (multimedia version)

Free multimedia information and teacher stories. User will need to login on first visit. Developed by CAST's founders Anne Meyer and David H. Rose, along with David Gordon.

UDL: supporting diversity in British Columbia schools

A web page with examples of assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment as learning. Teachers teachers discuss how they tackle the challenge of assessment in their classrooms.

Webinar for 9/19/11 support

A group of US high school students describe the positive impact text-to-speech technologies have made to their independence, their confidence as learners, and to their increasing achievement. Video with closed captions.

Westglen School, K-6: Universal Design for Learning

Westglen School in Alberta share their journey of using a UDL approach to underpin inclusive practices in this video. Closed captions available.

Voicethread and communication skills

In this video two US teachers describes how they use Voicethread as a flexible tool for building communication skills.

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Designing inclusive classrooms and curriculum activities for all learners, using UDL

Imagine how the classroom looks, sounds and feels from your students’ perspectives. Provide a range of options and supports to enable students to participate in learning in ways that work best for them and acknowledges their diversity. Here are some ways you can match your teaching methods to their needs and create engaging, flexible learning materials and pathways that students can personalise.

Linda Ojala, Silverstream School, describes her approach to designing learning that works for all students.

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Closed captioning available in player

Suggestions and resources

Using headphones (video)
The potential of headphones

A BBC story of the impact of offering a pair of headphones and some music to a student with a stammer. How could students make use of headphones in your classroom?

No captions or transcript available

Source: Channel 4s "Educating Yorkshire" (UK)

Using headphones
Removing barriers in assessment (video)
Taking a UDL approach to removing barriers in assessment

Use the three principles of UDL to help recognise hidden barriers that may impact on students' ability to demonstrate their understanding (one section of a longer video).

Closed captioning available in player

Source: CAST (Centre of Special Technologies) (US)

Removing barriers in assessment
Building in flexibility
  1. Where possible, set goals that enable students to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways.

  2. Offer students a range of options for expression: text, images, voice, video, animation or a combination of media.

  3. Ensure that the “means” of showing understanding is not itself a barrier to success. 

  4. If the “means” are a barrier for some students, use supports such as text-to-speech.

  5. Make supports and options available to everyone.

Building in flexibility
Utilising flexible digital tools (image)
Using Popplet to plan a story.jpg
Offer students different ways to share their thinking

A student uses a digital mind-mapping tool called Popplet to plan a story.

Popplet enables the student to draw, type, and add images and video. He can easily link ideas together and organise them in different ways.

Source: Ministry of Education

Utilising flexible digital tools

Resources and downloads

Creative ways to show what you know

Model and practise creative ways to present information that supports student engagement and understanding. A downloadable list of 101 ways for students and teachers to share ideas and information.

Voicethread in education

Voicethread is a tool that enables both students and teachers to use any media or mode to participate in conversations. Here are a selection of Voicethread examples collated by teacher, Suzie Vesper.

Expression

"When students are able to show what they know in the way they choose it boosts student engagement and student understanding." A video from UDL supporting diversity in BC schools. Transcript available.

UDL guidelines - version 2.0: Principle II. Provide multiple means of action and expression

In-depth information on the guidelines and checkpoints underpinning the Action and Expression principle. Developed by the National Center on Universal Design for Learning.

UDL Guidelines: Educator worksheet – version 2.0

Completed example of a teacher using CAST’s UDL guidelines - Educator worksheet to increase flexibility of lesson design and options and supports for students.

Different ways to publish your stories: Using a variety of tools

UK teacher Jacqui Sharp illustrates some of the ways students and teachers can present digital stories and inquiries, using many different tools.

Identifying barriers and supports (image)
3 principles of UDL based on the work of CAST Center of Applied Special Technologies
Utilise the UDL guidelines

Explore the UDL guidelines that underpin these UDL principles.

Use them to minimise barriers to learning and maximise supports.

Source: Adapted from CAST UDL

Identifying barriers and supports
Dyslexia at high school (NZ) (video)
How teachers can help

A student with dyslexia outlines the benefits of adjusting teaching methods.

Builds recommendations into the learning design for all students.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Dyslexia at high school (NZ)
Netbooks at Parkvale Primary (NZ) (video)
1-1 netbooks making a difference for all

Reflections on the impact of collaborative online environments and using a netbook for a year 5 student who found "writing a chore".

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Enabling e-Learning (NZ)

Netbooks at Parkvale Primary (NZ)
Adjusting strategies at high school (NZ) (video)
How teachers can help

Katrina, a high school student with Down syndrome, makes recommendations for teachers that could be useful for all students.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Adjusting strategies at high school (NZ)

Resources and downloads

UDL interactive planning activity

An interactive example of what to consider when planning for variability, created by the Maryland State Department of Education with the support of John Hopkins University.

UDL Case study: Goals

A US high school English teacher aligns her lesson planning to the principles of UDL. In this section she analysing learning goals through a UDL lens.

Knowing my learners (Linda Ojala)

An online conversation with Silverstream School teacher, Linda Ojala, and other teachers about knowing your learners and using that knowledge – from the Universal Design for Learning Group in the Ministry of Education’s Virtual Learning Network.

Universal Design for Learning guidelines – Learning wheel

An interactive version of the UDL guidelines and checkpoints linked to recommended online resources and activities. Created by the Maryland State Department of Education and Howard County Public School in partnership with CAST. Note: not accessible using tablets.

Getting from here to there: UDL, global positioning systems, and lessons for improving education

This article and summary by David H. Rose, Ed. D., and Jenna W. Gravel, Ed. M. "draws playful and important parallels as it explores the features of the GPS through the lens of the UDL guidelines." Authored by the team at CAST (Center of Applied Special Technologies).

UDL Guidelines: Educator worksheet – version 2.0

Completed example of a teacher using CAST’s UDL guidelines - Educator worksheet to increase flexibility of lesson design and options and supports for students.

2020’s learning landscape: A retrospective on dyslexia

This interactive paper by David Rose and Ge Vue imagines the future of literacy learning by pre-creating the Presidential Address at the International Dyslexia Association Annual Conference in 2020.

Optimising learning materials

Increase usefulness and flexibiltiy of learning materials

  1. Use multimedia alongside text-only material.

  2. Build in connections to prior knowledge, to big ideas and to patterns.

  3. Make instructions, demonstrations or key content rewindable and accessible 24/7.

  4. Offer digital alternatives alongside printed handouts or workbooks so students can access content in different ways and adjust it to suit their needs and preferences.

  5. Include supports such as visual dictionaries, glossaries and highlighting tools.

Optimising learning materials
Writing online at Tamaki College (NZ) (video)
Flexible digital writing environments

An English teacher reflects on the impact online writing environments and collaborative tools have made to students’ achievement in writing. (One section of a longer video.)

No captions or transcript available

Source: English Online (NZ)

Writing online at Tamaki College (NZ)
Multi-media presentation tools

Select digital presentation tools that make it easy to bring together a variety of media in a clear uncluttered format

Here are some examples of digital tools that can be used across the curriculum:

Consistently seek feedback from students on the effectiveness of materials to support understanding.

These tools can also be used to break down a task or assignment into smaller, more manageable parts. Dedicate a slide or page to each element or chunk of work. Re-order as needed.

Multi-media presentation tools
Increase usefulness online environments
  1. Keep the design simple.

  2. Use a clear predictable structure to help students find what they need.

  3. Reduce visual and auditory clutter (students with ADHD and autism will find this strategy useful).

  4. Support navigation with both high contrast text and visual cues.

  5. Regularly check with students that the way you are organising instructions and resources is working for them.

  6. Hyperlink to visual calendars and mind mapping tools to support planning.

Increase usefulness online environments

Resources and downloads

Key questions to consider when planning lessons

A series of questions to support teachers to think about: how learners will engage with the lesson, how information is presented to learners, and how learners are expected to act strategically and express themselves.

Captioning to support literacy

Overview of the value of using captioned or subtitled videos to support literacy across the curriculum. Provides all students with alternative access to content in videos.

Universal Design for Learning iPad strategies: Text-to-speech

A video with US educator Kit Hard demonstrating how to introduce text-to-speech to access digital text. No captions or transcript available

UDL Guidelines: Educator worksheet – version 2.0

Completed example of a teacher using CAST’s UDL guidelines - Educator worksheet to increase flexibility of lesson design and options and supports for students.

Deciding which technologies to use (image)
Screen Shot 2014 07 14 at 1.29.55 pm
Curate useful tools for your class

Explore the UDL toolkit: A collation of digital tools aligned to Universal Design for Learning

With your students, trial and evaluate which tools could form the basis of your own class UDL toolkit.

Source: Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms (US)

Deciding which technologies to use
Utilising text-to-speech tools (video)
Introduce students to alternative ways of accessing text

In this video tutorial, US educator and UDL consultant, Kit Hard explains how to use text-to-speech to access digital text across the curriculum.

View transcript

Source: Kit Hard (US)

Utilising text-to-speech tools
Digital learning supports

Curate with students a kit of digital learning support tools for your class or learning area

Use the UDL toolkit as a starting point. Invite students to explore the selections below and make suggestions about which tools and apps would be useful for the whole class: 

Review and revise regularly with students.

Digital learning supports
UDL and primary maths (NZ) (video)
Taking a UDL approach in primary maths

Offer students multiple representations of information and multiple ways to demonstrate understanding.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

UDL and primary maths (NZ)

Resources and downloads

Captioning to support literacy

Overview of the value of using captioned or subtitled videos to support literacy across the curriculum. Provides all students with alternative access to content in videos.

Read&Write for Google

A free extension for the Chrome browser which includes highlighting tools, text-to-speech, picture dictionary, and word prediction. "Teachers can get a free premium subscription to Read&Write for Google. To register and activate your subscription, go to rw.texthelp.com/freeforteachers after installing the Read&Write for Google trial."

Dragon dictation

Free voice-to-text app for iPad and iPhone. Available in NZ.

Creative ways to show what you know

Model and practise creative ways to present information that supports student engagement and understanding. A downloadable list of 101 ways for students and teachers to share ideas and information.

UDL Guidelines: Educator worksheet – version 2.0

Completed example of a teacher using CAST’s UDL guidelines - Educator worksheet to increase flexibility of lesson design and options and supports for students.

Removing barriers

Possible barriers to learning and how you could remove or minimise them

  1. In the classroom environment – loud noises, colour stimulants, cluttered workspaces, the location of desks in relation to light and sound, reaching hooks for bags and coats, no quiet spaces, busy disorganised and cluttered white board.

  2. In the way the classroom works – welcoming and packing-up routines, buddy systems, group and individual learning, quiet times and busy times, teacher-led, group work and independent learning, homework, time given for homework, cramped spaces for lining up, timetable or routine changes.

  3. In an intermediate or secondary context – timetabling, the number of books to be carried, the distances between classes, organising files on laptop or in Google Drive. Imagine how the classroom looks, sounds, and feels from your students’ perspective.

Removing barriers
Using digital story writing tools (video)
Using Storybird

A teacher at Te Kura o Kutarere reflects on the impact StoryBird has made on the literacy development of students. 

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Enabling e-Learning (NZ)

Using digital story writing tools
Self management tools

Suggestions for supporting students to develop organisation and time managements skills

  1. Encourage students to use their mobile devices to schedule alerts and reminders for regular and novel events and deadlines.

  2. Break up and schedule tasks using Trello or Google Calendar to organise what needs to be done and when.

  3. Model the use of colour-coded online calendars.

  4. Schedule time and support students with their online housekeeping, for example in their own blogs, wikis, Google Drive, and with files and folders on devices.

  5. Allow students to submit work online.

Self management tools
Supporting independence (image)
DSC 0222 1
Strategies to support independence

A visual break down of a task can help all students.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Supporting independence

Resources and downloads

Reflections on guided reading with UDL (Linda Ojala)

Classroom teacher, Linda Ojala from Silverstream School reflects on how she can increase students’ engagement in a reading group. Discussion in the Universal Design for Learning group accessed through the Ministry of Education’s Virtual Learning Network.

Google Calendar training lessons

A step-by-step introduction to Google Calendar for Education. These training lessons outline how to get the most out of Google Calendar in the classroom and how to support students in their personal organisation.

Creative ways to show what you know

Model and practise creative ways to present information that supports student engagement and understanding. A downloadable list of 101 ways for students and teachers to share ideas and information.

Universal Design for Learning guidelines – Learning wheel

An interactive version of the UDL guidelines and checkpoints linked to recommended online resources and activities. Created by the Maryland State Department of Education and Howard County Public School in partnership with CAST. Note: not accessible using tablets.

UDL Guidelines: Educator worksheet – version 2.0

Completed example of a teacher using CAST’s UDL guidelines - Educator worksheet to increase flexibility of lesson design and options and supports for students.

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