As, I read through the materials and watched the online video I thought about all the different principles and guidelines that make UDL successful. The guideline that was kind of glossed over quickly in the video was the second guideline that discussed how educators ask learners to express what they have learned. This guideline resonated with me as I find myself always having trouble being able to express what I know. I have always felt I have all these ideas in my head, and it makes sense, but when asked to write a paper, blog post, or speak on the topic I cannot find the right words to express what I have learned. Since the expression of the learner on what they have learned is largely a way to gauge if they are learning and how the teacher is doing teaching I think that this guideline is very important. I think it is so important that educator’s give students multiple opportunities to express their learning in various ways. Just as everyone learns slightly different, everyone also can express what they have learned slightly different. This approach to expression is important as unfortunately in our educational system today success of a teacher or a school is measured in what a student can express they have learned. In my current role I can give my staff various ways to communicate how they learned a new topic. Instead of doing the standard safety quizzes, I can provide an opportunity to act out a safety regulation or to speak on it as oppose to taking the quiz. This same concept with staff can be translated when working with individuals with disabilities. When I started looking for websites that can show me different ways student can express what they have learned I actually stumbled upon another word press blog that gave great ideas and examples. http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/10-ways-to-assess-learning-without-tests/ This blog talks all about how you can assess how a student is learning by having them express themselves in ways other than taking a test. I found it especially interesting. Overall, I think the UDL guidelines give educators and other implementing the UDL Framework key areas to remember when designing and delivering this curriculum. The article stated best the purpose of UDL guidelines. It stated, “They can be used to assess current practices, to stimulate discussion with colleagues, and to lead to a deeper understanding of how UDL can be effectively applied in the classroom in a practical way.” I believe whenever we are designing something around the idea of UDL as long as we remember that quote our focus will always move us in a forward direction.
CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author.