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H810: Week 13 : Activity 26.3

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Week 13: Activity 26.3: Universal Design

Universal Design of Instruction (Burgstahler, undated)

'The field of universal design can provide a starting point for developing an appropriate teaching model.'

I like this - universal design is a great start but we have to go on from here to help individual students access the curriculum

I like the fact it is proactive and disabled students are not left 'playing catch-up' in order to try to keep up with rest of the students

Flexibility is key in my opinion. There are too many contrasting needs to make a truly universal design. For example the blind student who assessed my resource would have liked black print on a white background whilst the student with dyslexia preferred the blue on white. Buttons on the site to change colour, font etc. really enable designers to come close to universal design.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines - Version 1.0 (CAST, 2007)

UDL has three primary principles that provide the structure for these Guidelines:

  • Principle I: Provide Multiple Means of Representation (the "what" of learning). Students differ in the ways they perceive and comprehend the information presented to them.

    I am currently working with a student who has a severe visual impairment. She lost most of her sight at the age of 16 years by which time she had already discovered that her preferred learning style was visual. She still has enough sight to revise by drawing out large diagrams but it is not easy for her.
  • Principle II: Provide Multiple Means of Expression (the "how" of learning). Students differ in the ways they are able to navigate a learning environment and express what they know.

    I have experienced the following adjustments in the universities where I work: allowing speech impaired people to plan and design PowerPoint presentations using the inbuilt speech features; allowing a student with ME to verbally present the information rather than spend all evening writing a report on a field course;
  • Principle III: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement (the "why" of learning). Students differ markedly in the ways they can be engaged or motivated to learn.

    One third year module at Keele University is Inspirational Landscapes in Geography. Assessment is 20% test and 80% project. Previous student projects have included:
    • Impact of the Malvern Hills on Elgar's music
    • Video diary of a walk in Wordsworth's footsteps
    • Photomontage of the experience of Dovedale
    • Influences of Indian landscape on fashion design
    • Johnny Depp: face, costume and landscape
    • Landscapes of Lord of The Rings
    • Thomas Hardy and the "Wessex" landscape
    • Landscape design for computer games

The module sounds fascinating and I know several students who really enjoyed it. http://www.esci.keele.ac.uk/people/pgk/geg-30014/handbook.html




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