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  • Hi, everybody, and welcome to today s webinar. Even though the university

  • is on spring break, Jenny and I are still here and we are still going to do a webinar

  • for today. Today is going to be Universal Design for Learning Principles and we kind

  • of frame this around universal designs regarding the higher education setting and then we ll

  • point out aspects and ways it can be implemented in a K-12 setting as well. My name is Jim

  • Stachowiak. As always, I will be guiding you through this today and hopefully you will

  • get something out of it. So, here we go. What we will talk about today is what universal

  • design is first, because I do have to lay that groundwork before we talk about universal

  • design for learning. We will talk about UDL accommodations and implementing UDL into courses.

  • So what is universal design? Universal design is the design of products and environments

  • used by all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or

  • specialized design. This is a concept that came out of architecture in North Carolina

  • State University in the 70 s. A guy named Ron Mace kind of looked at things and said

  • instead of building buildings and then having to add on these handicapped accessible ramps

  • later on that do not really look good in the flow of the building and maybe somewhere around

  • the corner that s not at the main entrance, why do not we take a look at trying to build

  • this kind of thing on the front end and making buildings and making environments accessible

  • to everybody on the front end. When they started doing this, they found that even though you

  • think and aim towards people with disabilities, you design toward that, you are going to have

  • something that benefits everybody in the long run, and I think that is probably where it

  • is used to the greatest extent possible. When we are looking at folks with disabilities,

  • we are kind of getting folks on that outer end and outer edge of mobility level, so by

  • doing that, by getting to those edges, we are making things that benefit everybody.

  • There are some examples on this slide of some classic universal design examples, the go-to

  • examples, I guess. Whenever anybody talks about universal design, it is probably the

  • curb cut and you are all familiar with those. Curb cuts are on every street corner and they

  • basically ramp into the streets so that somebody doesn t have to go over the curb to get into

  • the street to cross, and that benefits not only people in wheelchairs but also people

  • pushing strollers, people on roller blades, people riding, bikes, older people that might

  • struggle with taking a step down to cross the street that befits all those folks. We

  • are starting to see a new aspect of universal design added in that to be used by the greatest

  • extent possible. You kind of see it on there; it is that rubber pad with bumps on it. That

  • is there for folks with visual impairments that might be using a cane that are not quite

  • sure when they are about to hit the street. That raised bump areas gives them an idea

  • that they are getting pretty close to the street. Below that, you see a house that s

  • hard to tell there but there is a ground level entryway so even though there is no step up

  • to the front porch, it just kind of goes right into the door, and this is just an example

  • to show you that that can be done without making it look like it s an accessibility

  • thing. I mean, that is still a pretty nice looking entryway to the house and it is accessible

  • as well. Next to that, you can see a fire alarm. Fire alarms did not used to be universally

  • designed. Not that long ago a fire alarm code was just to make sure it made noise so that

  • people got out of the building when it went off. You would hear a loud beeping noise and

  • that was about it. If you look at it now, this one has a strobe light on it and anywhere

  • you look now you are going to see that. s code now to have a strobe light on your fire

  • alarm, because with just the noise how would somebody that was deaf know what was going

  • on? How would somebody that was deaf know how to get out of the building or get out

  • of their dorm room or whatever when a fire alarm went off. That strobe light indicates

  • the alarm is going off for somebody that might be deaf of hearing impaired. If you listen

  • to those now, they do not just give a loud beeping noise, either. If you listen to them,

  • they typically give you instructions on what to do. I know in our building when the fire

  • alarm goes off it says there is an emergency, get to the nearest exist, and get outside.

  • That might help people that struggle with panicking when they just hear loud noises,

  • giving them some idea of what to do and to get out of there. So, it has really become

  • a universally designed tool. If you look next to that, universally designed signage is helpful

  • as well. That is a sign obviously for a women s bathroom. If you just had the word women

  • up there somebody who is blind, somebody that has a learning disability, somebody that doesn

  • t speak English isn t necessary going to know what that word says, and that could lead to

  • some big issues if somebody happens to go in there. But if we put a symbol on it that

  • s universally recognized as well as braille underneath the word, all of a sudden we ve

  • made signs that are accessible to just about anybody. The case of the universal design

  • it to design environments to make them universal to everybody, so kind of keep that in mind

  • when we talk about universal design for learning and what universal design through learning

  • is. Well, this is what it is. It is a goal. It is a processed focus on planning. Really,

  • the key to universally designing something is just thinking out ahead of time what issues

  • people might have with accessing the class and then designing workarounds around those

  • issues, I suppose. It is the idea that not everybody learns the same way and that multiple

  • approaches might be needed to reach everybody in your class. It is a proactive process that

  • can be implemented in steps. The key to this is also that it is accessible to use and it

  • is inclusive, so if you universally design a class that is accessible to everybody, everybody

  • can use it and everybody is included as well. It is also a way to extend some of the benefits

  • and accommodations that are pretty common for folks with disabilities to everybody in

  • the classroom. There might be some people in there that do not have disabilities but

  • learn a little bit differently from others and can benefit from some of those accommodations,

  • so we can extend the benefit of accommodations through UDL. Also, it allows for students

  • to use their strengths to access the class. That s also another key about this is tapping

  • to the strengths of an individual and giving them the opportunity to use those strengths

  • to maximize learning and maximize understanding of things as well. One universal design for

  • learning is not groundbreaking and nothing that we are going to talk about here is groundbreaking

  • stuff. It is not a single solution. There could be multiple solutions here. In the college

  • thing, we talk about UDL. The folks think it might be a means to low quality or standards

  • or a means to life accessible to unqualified students. That is not the case here. There

  • are standards to get into classes that need to be met. What we are doing with universal

  • design is once you have qualified for those classes, we are making it easier to use your

  • strengths to benefit from those classes. So we are not lowering any quality or lowering

  • standards and we are not making it accessible to unqualified students. Universal design

  • is not necessarily completely required in every class. There are still some things that

  • are accommodation based that the student will still have to work with student disability

  • services or something else to get that taken care of. For example, it is not practical

  • to have a sign language interpreter in every classroom just in case you run into a student

  • that has a hearing impairment that might need a sign language interpreter. That is still

  • something where that is on the student, that is on the university, that is on the school

  • to get that accommodation when necessary. Finally, universal design for learning is

  • not a replacement for good teaching. It is really a complement for good teaching. It

  • is a way to help extend the good things that a teacher is doing in a classroom. Universal

  • design for learning comes out of some brain research that was done in the Center for Applied

  • Special Technology out of Harvard, and what this looked at was three primary brain networks

  • in learning. There is the recognition network, the strategic network, and the effective network.

  • What they saw with this when they looked at these networks with different individuals

  • is that with different people, networks work a little differently. The recognition network

  • is a network in the brain where we take in information and what we saw here is that people

  • take in information in different ways. What the folks that came up with the concept of

  • universal design for learning said that was because everybody takes in information differently,

  • what we need to provide to our students is multiple means of representation of the materials.

  • Some people might take in information by listening to a lecture, others by reading, and others

  • by watching a video. If we provide all of those potions, that gives users a choice to

  • be able to actually see information the way that best benefits them. The middle network

  • there is the strategic network. With the strategic network, that s the area where we kind of

  • plan and demonstrate what we ve learn, and everybody does that a little bit differently,

  • so the universal design for learning calls for providing multiple means of expression

  • for students. Not everybody is great at writing an essay, but you are going to have to do

  • all these at one time or another. Not everybody displays what he or she learns best by writing.

  • Other people might do it better by presenting. Other people might even do better by singing

  • a song about what they learned. What the strategic network and having multiple means of expression

  • indicates is that we should provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate what they

  • learned. The third area is the effective network and that is kind of where we are engaged in

  • learning, and again, everybody is engaged a little bit differently. So to provide multiple

  • means of engagement to students, we provide multiple ways for students to get interested

  • in learning and just really sit down and dig into things. One of the examples that is given

  • in something like this in maybe a K-12 setting is maybe if you are doing a report on different

  • states and everybody s got to take a state and do a state, instead of approaching it

  • in terms of learning about a state and giving a report, approach it as you are going to

  • be the expert on your state and you are going to teach others about that, and that gives

  • the student a little bit of a sense of ownership in what they re doing and that might be one

  • of those ways that engages them a little bit differently. Thinking about things in terms

  • of that, in terms of engaging students would be the third way to implement universal design

  • for learning. So those are you three hallmarks for universal design for learning: multiple

  • means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement.

  • This image comes from the Cass website here. Why is it necessary? Well, I want to talk

  • about why it is necessary at a college level why universal design for learning is necessary

  • at a college level. When you come to college, the IEP does not come with you. If you are

  • a student in special education in a K-12 setting, the IEP listed all your accommodations and

  • teachers had to follow those accommodations and make things accessible to you and your

  • classroom. When you come to K-12 level, that is no longer the case. The teachers do not

  • have to follow IEP. At this point, the student becomes responsible for self-identifying that

  • they have a disability and working with student disability services in getting the accommodations

  • that they might need. Here at the University of Iowa, we did an accommodations needs assessment

  • a couple years ago where we basically distributed a survey to everybody on campus and we asked

  • them if they had a disability, and we had 10 to 12 percent indicating that they had

  • a disability, which is about what we d expect because that kind of flies with the national

  • average. Part of the reason we did this is because when we talked to student disability

  • services and asked how many people they had signed up with them, we were hearing things

  • like 400, 415, and that is certainly not 10 percent of the population of students at the

  • University of Iowa. We were wondering what the issue was, and so when we asked about

  • the disability, the next question was if they were registered with student disability services,

  • and we found out that almost 60 percent were not registered with student disability services.

  • Most of the people that indicated they had a disability indicated that they had an invisible

  • disability of some type, whether that be a learning disability, emotional disability,

  • something that a teacher wouldn t be able to look at them in the classroom and understand

  • why they might be having some issues. We found kind of what we suspected, and that is that

  • on campus here there are several students with some type of disability running around

  • on campus that are not getting help from student disability services and we have no idea if

  • they re struggling, if they re doing well, or ways that we can reach them right now to

  • make things easier for them. That is why we decided to focus on universal design for learning

  • here on campus. If we can universally design classes, it should not matter if these students

  • are going to student disability services. The accommodations for most people with high

  • incidence learning disabilities ought to be built right into class. What about universal

  • design for learning? We are focusing a lot on disabilities and obviously it helps students

  • with disabilities, but it can also help all students. It can be beneficial to students

  • with language differences. We talk about multiple means of expression, multiple means of representation.

  • If we had students with language differences and all we are doing is speaking and there

  • is not some kind of text that they can take a look at, maybe we are speaking too fast.

  • Maybe they cannot keep up with class that way and maybe they might do better taking

  • in information in a different medium, so that universal design for learning could help those

  • students. Students with cultural differences in a college setting, you may find that some

  • culture students do not want to go ask for help if they need help because they do not

  • want to sit face to face with an instructor and ask for help. This can provide different

  • ways for them to access instructor s time through maybe an online chat. That might be

  • something they can do and that would benefit all the students. Students with learning differences

  • again, universal design for learning provides multiple ways to learn. Some students might

  • be visual learners, some students might be auditory learners, and some people might learn

  • by doing things. We are providing access to all those different types of learners. This

  • is especially the case in a university setting. Students might need to miss a class for various

  • excused reasons. Not every religious holiday is taken off by the university. There is Veteran

  • s Day, there might be a lot of veteran students that need to miss class and if they miss a

  • class that is a universally designed class, they should be able to not miss too much information

  • and be able to get things back in order when they re available to do that. At this point,

  • I would typically show a video that kinds of shows some of the importance of multiple

  • means of engagement, multiple means of representation, and multiple means of expression, but I m

  • not going to s in the YouTube archives here, so if you would like to take a look at this,

  • it is a very good video put out by Kansas State University. It is starting to get maybe

  • a little bit dated now. I think it came out in 2007. There is a link for you right there

  • and if you go on and type that whole thing in, you go to YouTube and search for a vision

  • of students today you will get the video that we typically talk about here and take a look

  • at what students are looking for. This really kind of hits on the need for engaging students

  • using the technology that they re familiar with of the day, engaging students a little

  • bit differently in going beyond what s in a textbook in the class, and just providing

  • a meaningful experience for students. To some instructors, it comes off as students being

  • a little bit whiny and wanting the instructor to come all the way and meet their demands.

  • It may come off a little bit that way, but it really just shows different ways to implement

  • things in the classroom. It brings up issues in a classroom that instructors need to work

  • with today, especially when it comes to technology and it comes to basically having students

  • that have had the computer and access to internet their whole lives and the ability to get information

  • very easily and it wants instructors to start thinking about ways to incorporate that kind

  • of technology to the classroom and go behind what a standard lecture might entail. It is

  • a good video. Check that out and take a look at that before going on any further in this

  • webinar. Let me talk a little bit about incorporating universal design for learning into college

  • classes, and we ll also hit a little bit on doing that in K-12 settings as well. In college

  • settings, we talk about three areas where you can implement UDL, and that s in the classroom

  • environment, the class presentation, and what we call the class materials, which is kind

  • of a catchall for everything else including supports, assignments, assessments, and so

  • on and so forth. In the class environment, there are two big areas that we can hit there.

  • It is kind of the general feel of the class as well as the physical environment. With

  • the class presentation, we kind of talk about first of all determining what s essential

  • to the class so that we can prevent things in different ways and varying methods, and

  • in class materials we talk about providing supports to our students as well as assignments

  • and assessments and how we are going to kind of address those in a class. Let me talk first

  • about the syllabus. Why is this important? Well, typically it is your first contact with

  • students in your class. What we suggest instructors do with this is provide information in at

  • least two formats, so we could provide information typically a syllabus is just when you list

  • the things that need to be done or things that happen throughout the class, but maybe

  • also providing a visual calendar with the dates things are due so somebody that s more

  • of a visual student can kind of see that laid out and be able to better organize things.

  • That might be a positive thing as well. You want to clearly explain the goals of the class

  • so every student knows what is coming up and clearly explain the assignments. We also talked

  • about providing multiple contact points, and that gets back to the