Universal Design for Learning: E-Learning

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Universal Design for Learning: E-Learning by Mind Map: Universal Design for Learning: E-Learning

1. Our online class fits very well with UDL's 2nd principle. We are given multiple ways to express ourselves. For example, in the first week of the class we were asked to use a web 2.0 tool to create something about us. That assignment allowed individuals to find a tool that best matched their learning style. We have demonstrated our learning through many different web 2.0 tools through multiple means of expression.

2. In an online class environment like the one we are in right now, we are presented with many different ways to engaged. There are assignments to be completed on your own, discussion questions to complete with the class and projects to work on with your team. Our class is structured nicely around the 3rd Principle of UDL.

3. To make an online class more consistent with the 1st Principle of UDL it is important that the content is presented in multiple means. This means information could be presented through podcasts, video clips, animations, voki and other web 2.0 tools.

4. Giving choices of how content is learned: readings, short video clips through YouTube or other educational wesbites, audio clips, participating in activities that practice the skill such as creating a tool for your class using a web 2.0 tool

5. Allowing students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. For example, to demonstrate our understanding of Web 2.0 tools, we created a wikispace. However, other options could include making a powerpoint, creating a photostory with audio, or discussing with classmates via the discussion board.

6. Multiple Means of Engagement

6.1. Multiple means of engagement means to me allowing students to learn in the best way possible for them. I think that means giving students the ability to work individually, together as pairs, together in small groups or collaboratively as a class. A mixture of these types of activities will allow the opportunity for students to learn in multiple ways.

7. Multiple Means of Expression

8. Multiple Means of Representation

9. It would be helful for certain students to have the option of having posted directions and student comments read aloud to them. The e-Learning program could have a button next to the post that students click in order to have any text read aloud that is within the system. Another option would be for instructor and students to record their postings along with the writing. Either way, this would allow flexibility in how students receive information.

10. One Part of setting students up for success in expressing their knowledge is assisting with managing information and resources needed to complete a task, especially if they struggle with executive functions. These students benefit from having checklists for assignments and formative feedback that is explicit, timely, informative and accesible. Some students need to clearly know what they are or are not doing well, otherwise they are unable to self-monitor their progress to make adjustments in their work.

11. In order for students to be effectively engaged, the content and activities need to be relevant and valuable to the learner. In this class, this means providing topics and activities that are not only geared towards k-12 education for the majority, but also other areas of education and web 2.0 that are applicable for everyone participating.

12. Activities in an e-Learning setting should be accessible to learners and not too far below or above their ability level to ensure optimal student engagement. For resources that may be new to some students, instructors should provide additional resources that will bridge any gaps in student understanding. For example, students unfamiliar with UDL were provided with an alternative video to clarify and expand on background knowledge.

13. In an e-learning environment with UDL principles, in presence of students with auditory challenges and/ or in consideration of different learning styles (learner variability), alternatives for auditory information for Web 2.0 visual tools (such as YouTube Videos or podcasts) could be not only the use of text equivalents in the form of captions, but also the visual (or tactile) equivalents for sound effects. These could be represented by images or emoticons, or by vibrations that could be felt on the mouse.

14. In an e-Learning environment with UDL principles, in the presence of students with auditory challenges and/ or in consideration of different learning styles (learner variability), alternatives for auditory information for Web 2.0 visual tools (such as YouTube Videos or podcasts) could be not only the use of text equivalents in the form of captions, but also the visual (or tactile) equivalents for sound effects. These could be represented by images or emoticons, or by vibrations that could be felt on the mouse.

15. In the presence of non-native speakers (e.g. Spanish speakers in an English literature class), these alternative representations of audio content will ensure clarity and comprehensibility. If non-native speakers have no accessibility challenges, the vocabulary, syntax, and structure of the video content could be made more comprehensible through speed reduction of the speech or the description (text or spoken) for the content of the video (Windows Media have a feature for reducing the speech speed). This description could also be provided before viewing the video, and could also be encouraged through a brainstorming activity (e.g. by identifying key elements in the video using concept or vocabulary organizers.

16. New node

17. Web 2.0 tools provide differentiated options for students’ expressions and communication. In some cases, such as blogs and wikis, the interaction takes place mainly through reading and writing. In this case, a learner with dyslexia (who may falter in writing) or a learner with movement impairments may find the writing tasks particularly challenging. The learner with dyslexia, for example, should be given the option to interact on the Wiki platform through a composition of picture or a video he/she produces, while the learner with poor motor skills should be equipped with specific software as keyboard alternative. VoiceThread is one of those Web 2.0 tools that seems to provide more options for expressions and communications. Learners can compose in multiple media such text, speech, illustration, video, while the instructor can provide models or examples of the final product to post.

18. In an e-learning environment, for example in presence of non-native English speakers with language comprehension and production challenges, students should be able to concentrate on the language learning process, more than the final product. For example, in order to stimulate their interest and encourage their engagement in a writing task perceived as too difficult, the instructor should concentrate on the task design. The writing prompt – presented on a platform such as Blog, Forum, Wiki, or as writing test in a Learning Management System, should be authentic and relevant to the current life of the learners (for example, a prompt on their every day preferences for social activities will invite personal response and self-reflection among adolescents). The writing prompt could be also structured for learners to write collaboratively in groups (group spaces are available on almost all LMS). In the different groups, the instructor should encourage division of goals to reach the final product (the written essay), and perhaps create expectations for group work through simple and clear rubrics.