A Self-Directed Course

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In today’s complex and dynamic classrooms, educators know they will be supporting students with very diverse learning needs.  It can be challenging to craft learning opportunities that meet the needs of such a wide variety of learners.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to curriculum design that can help address the challenge.  This course is designed to introduce the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) educational framework.  By completing this course, you will gain an understanding of the basic principles of UDL, how to implement a variety of UDL strategies, and become part of a Professional Learning Community striving to improve teaching practice.

How to use this resource:

This course can completed many different ways.

  • You can work through the course as a self-directed study, setting your own pace and accessing the course whenever or wherever you wish
  • A school team interested in implementing UDL can work together according to an agreed-upon schedule.  For example, individuals could explore a module and then come together, physically or virtually, to discuss and extend their learning
  • If you are facilitating learning opportunities in your school or district to help educators develop knowledge of UDL, you can use the course curriculum and resources as part of your own face-to-face or eLearning course

All the materials you’ll need to complete the course are hosted or linked to this site. There are also additional links to outside resources that will give you the opportunity to explore topics in more depth.  We will be updating the site on a regular basis with more videos, examples, and resources so, once you’ve finished the course, you may want to come back periodically to see what is new and inspiring.

What you’ll learn:

When you finish the course, you will:

  • have a good understanding of Universal Design for Learning and how it benefits all students
  • understand the importance of considering your students’ diverse needs when you are designing lessons
  • understand how goal-based planning opens the door for choice and inclusion
  • understand how to apply the UDL Guidelines to lesson design and instruction
  • be able to describe key elements of a successful UDL implementation.

What you’ll need:

You’ll need to be motivated!  Universal Design for Learning encourages self-reflection of your current teaching practice and offers strategies for adding more flexibility in how you present materials to your students, how you engage them in your classroom activities, and how you can allow your students to express their learning in individual ways.

You’ll need to celebrate! UDL isn’t a brand new way of teaching.  You are likely already incorporating many of the UDL strategies that are mentioned throughout the course.  As you work through the different modules, the course materials will help you identify which strategies you should continue or expand in your current practice while also offering new-to-you ideas to try.  You can celebrate what you know works for your students now and then celebrate when you see the successful implementation of new UDL strategies that work during the year.

You’ll also need access to common technologies to allow you to view videos online and to participate in community discussions.  This site works with a variety of standard and mobile computing devices giving you access to the course as needed.

What it looks like:

Module 1 – Overview

  • This module contains information about Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  It will give you an overview of its origins, its core principles and its relevance in today’s diverse classrooms

Module 2 – Students

  • UDL planning always starts with the students.  In this module, you’ll acquire strategies for getting to know your students’ learning strengths, preferences and needs.  You’ll also learn the importance of establishing a safe and inviting classroom environment

Module 3 – Goals

  • In this module, you’ll learn why UDL goal-based planning is a good fit with the “big ideas” of the BC Curriculum.  You’ll learn how separating goals from methods opens the door for choice and inclusion.  You’ll also learn about types of assessments that are compatible with a UDL approach

Module 4 – Guidelines

  • This module looks at the UDL Guidelines multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression in detail.  You’ll recognize strategies you’re already using that are a good fit with UDL and add new strategies to your UDL toolkit

Module 5 – Implementation

  • Implementing UDL in a classroom, school, or district is a complex, ongoing process.  In this module, you’ll examine some key elements of successful implementation and see UDL in action in a BC classroom

Module 6 – Extend

  • In the final module of the course, you will learn how other current educational frameworks or strategies complement or support Universal Design for Learning.  Explore 21st Century Learning, Response to Intervention (RTI), Differentiated Instruction (DI) and more specific strategies such as problem-based learning and flipped classrooms

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