- In your own words, describe your interpretation of accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), include the three networks in your brief response.
There are three elements in the UDL which are processed in different parts of the brain of the learner. First, there is the content or information that must be learned, and UDL stresses that this information should be presented in different ways since students learn in such different ways – this learning is processed from the posterior part of the brain. The second is the how of learning, the action and expression. This calls on the teacher to differentiate the ways learners can express what they know. This comes from the frontal lobe of the brain. Finally there is the affective component, the why of learning, how to stimulate interest and motivation. This is how to stimulate engagement.
- Describe a few things that you think you could do to increase accessibility in your classes. (It’s a work-in-progress, do not feel like it’s something that will happen all at once).
Although my classes already have a number of different ways of assessing student learning, (quizzes, tests, papers, presentations, narration), I never thought about trying to represent the information in different ways. Student clinical experiences are designed to allow students to apply what they are learning, but often this cannot be accomplished completely because one doesn’t have control over the exact kinds of experiences they can have. Of late in the health professions, we have been using simulation. This adds a kinesthetic component to learning, and it allows practice. I think I could take the same content and offer different ways to approach it. But this means we would need to try not to cover so much material. Another issue is offering more choice. So if people didn’t succeed on a test, there would be another assessment of another kind and we could pick the best of the two. As my students are HIGHLY motivated by grades, hey will go to great lengths to get a better grade.
- What are some questions that you have about this topic?
I find this topic interesting, but also daunting. For example, I have seen where you post things in Bb, as well as VT. I can get the information in different places. This is because some students may do better in one form than another. I had never considered this before, I always figured I had to learn whatever form was required of the course. My biggest question is if you really implement different ways of representing material, different ways of expressing it via student activities, and offering more choice, then you can offer less volume of content, no? I don’t see how you could offer the same amount of content. Maybe for online you could, because it just means lots more planning. But face2face it seems harder to do.