We have often seen schools and colleges take a one-size-fits-all approach to education in the past. Educators focused on finding one way to teach all students. But now we all know that approach no longer works. And, in fact, it never worked.
It’s no secret that all people are different and unique in their own way. Students are too. They all have different character traits, abilities and needs. So by putting them all in the same settings, we limit them, not allowing each of them to discover their true potential.
Universal Design for Learning (or simply UDL) is the opposite of that. This approach is gaining momentum in the modern world. If you want to follow the trends and understand what UDL is and how you can get started with it, read on because we asked an expert EssayService writer to give us an introduction to UDL.
What is UDL?
UDL is a very different approach to teaching and learning that focuses on creating equal opportunities for all students to achieve. This teaching model is much more flexible in terms of presenting material to students and measuring their progress. UDL is about finding unique and personalized approaches for all students to help them stay motivated and perform at the peak of their abilities.
Ok, but why should you care? To understand the real value of UDL for education, we need to answer another question: what happens when teachers teach all students the same way? Typically, learners get bored and lose motivation. As a result, they start to underperform. And, when this happens, even if they can use a professional article writing service to write an essay for me and improve their grades, their desire to study is hard to restore.
By leveraging the UDL, on the contrary, teachers can keep their students more engaged and motivated. As a result, it will positively affect their academic performance. And that’s the main reason why embracing universal design for learning is so important these days.
4 Steps to Adopting UDL in a Classroom
Now that you know what Universal Design for Learning is, the next obvious question is how to get started with it.
If you’re an educator yourself, the good news is that adopting UDL doesn’t have to mean changing your entire teaching model from the ground up. There is no need for radical transformation. Instead, you can use the following steps to create new opportunities and bring more flexibility to your class.
- Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your students
Since UDL embraces difference and keeps students’ unique needs at heart, the first thing you should do to adopt this model is recognize how unique each of your students is. Take the time to individualize them.
By saying this, we mean that teachers need to focus on understanding the core strengths and weaknesses of their students. Doing this is quite easy. To get started, you can just use a few polls to see what each of your students struggles with and what they find easy. Later, you can also ask them what kind of instruction and homework each of them prefers.
Such surveys will give you a basic understanding of your students’ needs. Later, you can use this information to provide them with more personalized learning experiences.
- Take advantage of digital materials
As mentioned earlier, UDL involves ensuring greater flexibility in terms of how students receive knowledge. So if you only used traditional materials in the past, another thing you can do is start leveraging digital materials. A variety of digital mediums can give you much-needed flexibility.
Such materials can empower some of your students, especially those with special needs. Respectively, by taking advantage of them, you will create a more equal chance of success.
- Find new ways to share content
Is your entire lesson plan built around textbooks? If so, adopting the UDL should also mean change.
The next step to take is to find new ways to impart knowledge to your class. To give you some examples here, you can start taking advantage of videos, games, websites, presentations, movies, and just about any other format that suits you.
How will this help your students? By finding new ways to share educational content, you create an equal chance of success. After all, it’s no secret that some people learn best by reading, others through visual perception, and still others by hearing the material. Ideally, you should give all learners a chance to succeed.
- Provide different choices to demonstrate knowledge
Finally, another thing you can do to get started with UDL is to give your students more choice in how they can demonstrate what they’ve learned.
Here’s one thing – while learners all perceive information differently, they also share it differently. Some may feel comfortable giving an oral response, while others prefer to write an essay or take a quiz. If you want everyone to have an equal chance of succeeding, you can give them a choice of how they want to demonstrate their knowledge.
That is just about everything. Now you know the basics of Universal Design for Learning and have a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate it into your own classroom. Follow these steps to help your students succeed!