Caroline Carros

Revision as of 16:02, 8 December 2019 by Carolinecarros (talk | contribs)

About me

Carolinec.jpg

My name is Caroline Carros and I am a Special Education teacher. I graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Special Education. I am currently a certified teacher in the areas of Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities. After I graduated I moved to Hawaii to live with my family and worked as a substitute teacher for approximately a year. I then moved back to upstate New York to a town called Saratoga Springs and began working as a 1st grade Special Education Consultant in Troy, New York. Currently, I am a 2nd and 4th grade Special Education Consultant in Saratoga Springs. I am currently earning my master’s degree at University at Albany. I joined the Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology (CDIT) program to extend my knowledge of developing a curriculum and integrating technology. I would love to become a resource in my school district by working with other educators to create a universally designed curriculum that supports all learners.

My Topic/Purpose

The topic of this course is Universal Design. The purpose for this course is for participants to understand what Universal Design for Learning is and how to effectively apply it in their classroom setting. The intended audience for this course is for K-12 educators including special educators, general educators, co-teachers, support staff and administrators.


Topics Include:

  1. What is Universal Design for Learning and Why Do Educators Need It?
  2. Universal Design for Learning Guidelines
  3. The Three Brain Networks of Learning
  4. Assessing Learner Needs in Your Classroom
  5. Applying the Framework in Your Classroom
  6. Professionals in Your School or District to Seek for Assistance
  7. Evaluating a Universally Designed Lesson
  8. Create Your Own Lesson Using the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines
  9. Resources

Learning Outcomes

Participants of this course will:

  • Identify the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines
  • Apply this understanding to the three brain networks of learning
  • Define examples of Universal Design in a classroom
  • Understand how to assess learner needs
  • Understand how to apply Universal Design in their classroom
  • Evaluate and analyze a universally designed lesson and provide feedback
  • Design their own lesson using the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines


Needs Assessment

Intent

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an adaptive learning approach that focuses on providing learning technologies that are accessible and appropriate for all students. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plans refers to UDL as a “framework that reduces barriers and maximizes learning opportunities for all students” (Rappolt-Schlichtmann, Bakia, Blackorby & Rose). Using a research-based framework, UDL provides educational designs that enhance learning opportunities and academic success by focusing on learner differences. Three instructional principles were designed based on research to target student differences: Provide multiple means of: representation, expression and engagement. As educators, our goal is to have stude¬nts confidently and successfully access and engage in the curriculum. This mini-course is designed to help educators understand what UDL is and how to assess learner needs and apply UDL in your classroom.

Gather Information

An essential part of involving universal design into your curriculum is to understand your particular group of learners as a cohort and as individuals within this cohort. To identify learner differences, educators can research various characteristics of their student population and conduct surveys, interviews and observations of students during instructional times to identify educational barriers. A variety of learner characteristics alter instruction such as demographics, physiological traits, cognitive abilities, prior knowledge and motivation. When considering demographics, information like age range, cultural backgrounds and geographic location impact delivery modes of instruction and the use of specific vocabulary. When considering physical abilities and overall health and wellness, this can change the choice of learning environment. Regarding cognitive abilities such as reading level, intelligence, mental disabilities and specific aptitudes, this can influence the pace, treatment and format of instruction. When contemplating prior knowledge of students this may result in re-working your learning goals based on understanding or misconceptions. “The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows” (Larson and Lockee, 2013, p. 53). Lastly, when thinking about student motivation, confidence and personal goals, this requires educators to make learning relevant to those interests. “Discovering more about the participants gives you valuable insights to the range of their backgrounds, previous experiences, competencies, developmental level, as well as their expectations and motivations” (Shambaugh and Magliaro, 1997, p. 63). Because all these student factors are varied, “producing effective instruction for today’s complex learning environments and diverse populations often requires different approaches, different media, and different strategies” (Larson and Lockee, 2013, p. 49). In order to successfully implement UDL, educators needs to determine how to provide multiple means of representation, expression and engagement that works with their specific learner population.

Results

To understand the needs of educators in my district, I sent out a survey with ten questions regarding universal design for learning. The overall results strongly represent a need for learning the principles of UDL as well as how to apply it in classrooms. When asked, “What is universal design for learning?” the frequently response was “Not sure”. When asked if they were familiar with the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines, 85% of participants responded “No”. When asked if they were familiar with the three networks of the brain, 100% of participants responded “No”. When asked how to use UDL in their classroom, the most frequent response was “I don’t know”. When asked how teachers assess student needs, the most frequent responses were formative and summative assessments and classroom observations. When asked what strategies they use to collect student need data, they answered: collaborate with service providers, observational checklists, formative and summative assessments and contact parents. When asked what accommodations and modifications are used for student needs, teachers responded with “modifying how students practice a certain skill” and use visual supports. When asked whom to seek for assistance with these things, teachers appropriately responded with our assistive technologist and our special education teachers. When asked if they were comfortable applying UDL in their classroom currently, participants demonstrated they were uncomfortable. This supports my targeted objectives for this mini-course.

Survey1.png
Survey2.png
Survey4.png
Survey5.png

Analysis of the Learner and Context

Learner Analysis: This course will be used for K-12 educators seeking to accommodate all leaners through universal design for learning. Novices will develop their knowledge and craft by studying research, viewing classrooms using UDL guidelines and observing learners to target specific needs. By the end of this course, educators will be creating their own lesson using multiple means of representation, expression and engagement to make content accessible for all students.

Context for Instruction: Participants of this course will learn fully online. Participation is self-guided, adding to discussions and participating in activities as they go. Options will be provided to go out into the field to document student needs, however, a video will be provided for those who would prefer participate fully online. Participation requires a computer and Internet connection.

Performance Objectives

  • Learners will demonstrate understanding of Universal Design for Learning Guidelines by watching a video and reading research to interact with their peers in a discussion regarding means of representation, expression and engagement.
  • Learners will understand the three brain networks (the why, the what and the how) of learning by completing a comprehension check.
  • Learners will compare and contrast the three brain networks (the why, the what and the how) of learning by selecting learning opportunities to cater to all learners through a provided classroom scenario.
  • Participants will define examples of learning barriers and will provide examples of how to achieve UDL in their classroom by eliminating these barriers.
  • Using the learner analysis process and a provided observation form, learners will understand learner characteristics to observe a cohort of students to identify group and individual learner needs.
  • Using collaborative discussion, learners will share their observations and findings with their peers and provide suggestions based on UDL guidelines.
  • Using research, educators will identify the key elements of a universally designed lesson plan.
  • Using provided examples as a reference, learners will create a lesson plan that includes multiple means of representation, expression and engagement.
  • Students will share their prepared lesson plan and provide feedback to their peers by using a rubric to evaluate lesson plans.
  • Students will respond to a self-reflective prompt about applying UDL guidelines in their classroom.

Task Analysis

Unit 1: What is Universal Design for Learning?

  • Learners will demonstrate understanding of Universal Design for Learning Guidelines by watching a video and reading research to interact with their peers in a discussion regarding means of representation, expression and engagement.
  • Learners will understand the three brain networks (the why, the what and the how) of learning by completing a comprehension check.
  • Learners will compare and contrast the three brain networks (the why, the what and the how) of learning by selecting learning opportunities to cater to all learners through a provided classroom scenario.

Unit 2: How Can Educators Incorporate Universal Design for Learning?

  • Responding to research, learners will define examples of accommodations and modifications provided through UDL and will provide examples of how to achieve UDL in their classroom.
  • Using the Learning Characteristics table provided by Larson and Lockee (2013, pp. 46-47) and a student assessment observation form, learners will observe a cohort of students in a video to identify group and individual learner needs.
  • Using collaborative discussion, learners will share their observations and findings with their peers and provide suggestions based on UDL guidelines.

Unit 3: Creating your Universally Designed Classroom

  • Educators will create a digital model of their classroom, describing key tools used to achieve universal design.
  • Using a provided example to reference, learners will create a lesson plan that includes multiple means of representation, expression and engagement.
  • Students will respond to a self-reflective writing prompt about applying UDL guidelines in their classroom and how teaching their lesson went.

Curriculum Map

File:UDL Curriculum Map.pdf

References and Resources

  • Rappolt-Schlichtmann, G., Bakia, M., Blackorby, J., & Rose, D. (2015). CIRCL Primer: Understanding Universal Design for Learning. In CIRCL Primer Series. Retrieved from http://circlcenter.org/understanding-udl/
  • UDL Guidelines from CAST.org