The Universal Design for Learning: Come Again?

The Universal Design for Learning is, simply put, a guideline to design a curriculum that addresses students’ needs.  The UDL can be broken down into three principles :

  1. Provide Multiple Means of Representation
  2. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  3. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

These principles serve as tools for teachers and learners to overcome limitations and allows teachers to plan goals, methods, and assessments to accomodate all.  For example, the first principle explores the different ways to make learning accessible and comprehensible for all different types of learners while the second and third principles explore the different ways students can express and motivate their learning.

In exploring the UDL, I selected checkpoint 3.1 – Activate or supply background knowledge.  This technique allows learners to connect the newly acquired information with knowledge they are already familiar with and understand.  This enables them to learn faster and understand more thoroughly since they are linking it to previously acquired and mastered information. This technique is applicable to all learners since not one student has the same “baggage” of acquired information.  Each will make original and authentic connections to certain information they deem useful based off their prior knowledge.

For example, I taught myself to use the Windows Movie Maker this semester for the purpose of my Media Project.  Having no prior knowledge of the software (and of all of its limitations …), I was able to carry over most of my knowledge from Filmora (video editing software) I had acquired though high school and managed to apply it.


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