We’ve often seen schools and colleges take a one-fits-all approach to education in the past. Educators focused on finding a single way to teach all students. But now, we all know that this approach doesn’t work anymore. And, in fact, it never worked.
There is no secret that all people are different and unique in their own ways. 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 giving each of them to uncover their true potential.
Universal Design for Learning (or just UDL) is the opposite of that. This approach is gaining momentum in the modern world. If you want to keep up with trends and figure out what UDL is and how you can get started with it, read on because we asked an expert paper writer from EssayService to give us an introduction to UDL.
What Is UDL?
UDL is a much different approach to teaching and learning that focuses on creating equal opportunities to succeed for all students. This teaching model is much more flexible in terms of how the material is presented to students and how their progress is measured. UDL is all about finding unique, personalized approaches for all students to help them stay motivated and perform at the top of their abilities.
Okay, but why should you care? To understand the real value of UDL for education, we have to answer another question – what happens when teachers teach all students the same way? As a rule, learners get bored and lose motivation. As a result, they start underperforming. And, when this happens, even though they can use a professional paper writing service to write an essay for me and boost their grades, their craving for studying is hard to restore.
When leveraging UDL, on the contrary, teachers can keep their students more engaged and motivated. As a result, this will positively affect their academic performance. And this is the biggest reason why adopting Universal Design for Learning is so important these days.
4 Steps to Adopt UDL in a Classroom
Now that you know what the Universal Design for Learning is, the next obvious question is how to get started with it.
If you are an educator yourself, the good news is that adopting UDL doesn’t necessarily mean changing your entire teaching model from the core. There is no need for radical transformation. Instead, you can use the following steps to build new opportunities and bring more flexibility to your classroom.
- Understand Your Students’ Strengths and Weaknesses
Since UDL embraces difference and keeps students’ unique needs at the core, the first thing you should do to adopt this model is to recognize how unique each of your students is. Take time to individualize them.
By saying this, we mean that teachers should focus on understanding their students’ main strengths and weaknesses. Doing this is pretty easy. To begin, you can simply use a few surveys to see what each of your students is struggling with and what they find easy. Later, you can also ask them what types of instruction and assignments each of them prefers.
Such surveys will give you a basic understanding of your students’ needs. Later, you will be able to use this information to provide them with more personalized learning experiences.
- Leverage Digital Materials
As mentioned earlier, UDL implies ensuring more flexibility in terms of how students receive knowledge. So if you used only traditional materials in the past, another thing you can do is start leveraging digital materials. Various digital materials can provide you with the so-needed flexibility.
Such materials can empower some of your students, especially those who have special needs. Respectively, by leveraging them, you will create more equal opportunities for success.
- Find New Ways to Share Content
Is your entire lesson plan built around textbooks? If so, adopting UDL should mean changing this as well.
The next step you should take is to find new ways to deliver knowledge to your class. To give you a few examples here, you can start leveraging videos, games, websites, presentations, movies, and pretty much any other format that feels right to you.
How will this help your students? By finding new ways to share educational content, you create equal opportunities for success. After all, there is no secret that some people learn better through reading, others through visual perception, and some through hearing the material. Ideally, you should give all learners a chance to succeed.
- Provide Different Choices for Demonstrating Knowledge
Finally, one more thing you can do to get started with UDL is to offer your students more choices for how they can demonstrate what they’ve learned.
Here is a thing – while learners all perceive information differently, they also share it differently. Some may feel comfortable giving an oral answer, whereas others prefer writing an essay or taking a quiz. If you want them all to have equal chances to succeed, you can give them a choice of how they want to demonstrate their knowledge.
That’s pretty much it. Now, you know the basics of Universal Design for Learning and have a step-by-step guide on how you can bring it into your own classroom. Follow these steps to help your students succeed!