Week 6: Reflect on expected outcomes

Self Assessment and Reflection

Objective

Determine expected outcomes of redesigned online activity.

What

This week you will reflect on your expected outcomes for your redesigned online activity .

Why

To learn to be creative and resourceful in designing flexible learning environments that address the variability of learners using a range of high-tech and low-tech solutions.

The following content is from Provide Multiple Means of Engagement> Guideline 9: Provide options for self-regulation>Checkpoint 9.3 Develop self-assessment and reflection

In order to develop better capacity for self-regulation, learners need to learn to monitor their emotions and reactivity carefully and accurately. Individuals differ considerably in their capability and propensity for metacognition, and some learners will need a great deal of explicit instruction and modeling in order to learn how to do this successfully. For many learners, merely recognizing that they are making progress toward greater independence is highly motivating.

Alternatively, one of the key factors in learners losing motivation is their inability to recognize their own progress. It is important, moreover that learners have multiple models and scaffolds of different self-assessment techniques so that they can identify, and choose, ones that are optimal.

Developing students’ abilities for self-assessment and reflection.

Learning can be affectively inaccessible when success requires that students monitor and reflect on their own emotional progress and when there are no options for individuals who have difficulty in doing so. 

Since there is great variability in students’ capability for monitoring their emotions and reactivity; students will need varied amounts of explicit instruction and modeling, scaffolded practice with gradual release, and targeted feedback in order to make progress.

Because of individual differences, multiple models and scaffolds of varied techniques should be offered so that students can identify, select and use the techniques that are personally optimal.

The following content is from Chapter 7: Learning through Practice: Voices from the Field > UDL Curriculum Design Practices>

UDL emphasizes the importance of planning in advance—of designing curriculum that, from the outset, assumes and plans for the natural variability of diverse learners.

photo of Elfreda Blue

Professor Elfreda Blue
© 2013 CAST, Inc.

Elfreda Blue, an associate professor of special education at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, teaches graduate students seeking certification in elementary and secondary education. She reflects on how she learned from experience the necessity of designing curriculum to meet the needs of all learners:

Before I began applying UDL, I remember one graduate student [who] was a shy young lady who loved students but was extremely nervous about making an in-class presentation of her final project. She begged and pleaded not to do the in-class presentation. I refused permission. When the time for her presentation arrived, she burst into tears and excused herself from the room. She needed options for expression and communication in order to successfully complete the task before her. Most importantly, she needed options for enhancing her own capacity to complete the task before her. Since that experience, I have encountered numerous graduate students who want to negotiate options for completing assignments which make room for their strengths.

Reflecting on expected outcomes

Consider UDL as a way to shift your understanding of how all people learn, then UDL becomes a systematic means by which to move to the practical. UDL is not a prescriptive checklist or formula with set methods and tools to be applied in every situation.

The UDL framework is translational —a means for translating research and innovation into practice—providing guiding principles. From the principles, guidelines are derived for creating and choosing tools, methods, and practices, whose specifics depend upon context: learners’ developmental levels, varied schools and communities, and the proclivities of teachers who are doing the teaching, among many other variables. UDL can help reshape teaching and learning by guiding the design of an entirely new system with flexibility at its core.

Another important consideration in implementing UDL in any learning environment is including the learner in the learning process. Support students to become an “expert” about their own learning. The goal is to find a way into the learning experience, remain persistent in the face of challenge or failure, and continue to build self-knowledge. Encourage students to communicate their learning preferences and needs. Include students in designing better learning environments.

Powerful digital technologies applied using UDL principles enable easier and more effective customization of curricula for learners. Advances in technology and the learning sciences have made “on-the-fly” individualization of curricula possible in practical, cost-effective ways, and many of these technologies have built in supports, scaffolds and challenges to help learners understand, navigate, and engage with the learning environment.However, it is important to note that these technologies should not be considered to be the only way to implement UDL. Effective instructors can be creative and resourceful in designing flexible learning environments that address the variability of learners using a range of high-tech and low-tech solutions.

Earn Your Badge

week-6

Action Plan

Follow the steps below to complete your action plan this week.

  • Complete all the action plan items.
  • In the  Google+ Community, comment ON at least two other Google Doc worksheets, by the end of Sunday.
    • Provide further insight into to the participant’s results.
    • Practice improving your online interaction with insightful commenting.