Universal Design For Learning Implementation

Universal Design For Learning Implementation

Jumpstarting Today!
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Beginning your journey into Universal Design for Learning can be both exciting and daunting. While Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is not a checklist, but rather both a framework and a philosophy for designing learning environments, there are a few strategies that you can begin immediately. Simple changes incorporated into your learning environment can begin to add layers of scaffolding and support while simultaneously moving students into more active participants in the learning process.

Here are 4 suggestions to jump start your journey:

1) Posting the Goal

Students need the opportunity to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Posting the goal not only allows students to understand the "why" but also brings them explicitly into the learning process rather than implicitly. It is also very important to note that when students know and understand the goal they are "are more likely to stay focused, monitor themselves successfully, and derive satisfaction from their progress" (Rose & Meyer p. 88).

2) Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is a simple strategy you can literally add to your learning environment with a click of a button. Closed captioning attends to guidelines one (options to see, hear, and perceive information) and two (options to decode language...). "These supports can help boost foundational reading skills, such as phonics, word recognition, and fluency, for a number of students. Given the wide (and inexpensive) availability of captioned and subtitled media on broadcast television, on DVDs, and online, it can be a valuable addition to your teaching of diverse learners" (Brann 2011).

3) Visual Timers

Whether students are working independently, with partners, or in small groups, students need much scaffolding and support to aide in executive functioning. Timers provide students a very concrete and explicit support to assist with both task completion and transitioning. There is a multitude of visual timer options you can certainly purchase and many online timer options available for free as well with literally a click of a button.

4) Text to Speech

The benefits of text to speech should ironically "go without saying". However, much like closed captioning, it is very easy and often readily available but not often brought into the learning environment as a whole. We tend to offer to certain students rather than incorporating as an optional choice. This great tool should not be reserved for individual student devices either. Utilizing these great tools with LCD projection and audio support during large group instruction should be considered as well.


Remember also that technology is a support and enhancement but not the "be all" to implementing UDL. We certainly live in a tech-rich society and our students are digital natives. However, you can build in supports regardless of your readily available resources and tech "knowledgey". If you are using a video without a closed captioning option, a printed script can be a great support. If you do not have access to text to speech, you can simply provide a recording of yourself or a fellow student.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Theodore Roosevelt


Brann, Alise. (2011). "Captioning to Support Literacy." Powerup What Works: Reading Rockets. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/captioning-s...

Rose, H. D., Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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19 Things About Being a Nursing Major As Told By Michael Scott

Michael just gets it.
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If you're a nursing major, you relate to the following 19 things all too well. Between your clinical encounters and constant studying, you can't help but wonder if anyone else outside of your major understands the daily struggles you face in nursing school. And even though being the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc. isn't the same as being a nursing major, Michael Scott does a pretty accurate job of describing what it's like.

1. When your professor overloads your brain with information on the first day of class.

2. Realizing that all your time will now be spent studying in the library.

3. Being jealous of your friends with non-science majors, but then remembering that your job security/availability after graduation makes the stress a little more bearable.

4. Having to accept the harsh reality that your days of making A's on every assignment are now over.

5. When you're asked to share your answer and why you chose it with the whole class.

6. Forgetting one item in a "select all that apply" question, therefore losing all of its points.

7. When you're giving an IV for the first time and your patient jokingly asks, "This isn't your first time giving one of these, right?"

8. You're almost certain that your school's nursing board chose the ugliest scrubs they could find and said, "Let's make these mandatory."

9. Knowing that you have an important exam that you could (should) be studying for, but deciding to watch Netflix instead.

10. Getting to the first day of clinical after weeks of classroom practice.

11. When you become the ultimate mom-friend after learning about the effects various substances have on the human body.

12. Running off of 4-5 hours of sleep has become the new norm for you.

13. And getting just the recommended 7-8 hours makes you feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

14. You have a love-hate relationship with ATI.

15. When your study group says they're meeting on a Saturday.

16. Choosing an answer that's correct, but not the "most" correct, therefore it is wrong.

17. And even though the late nights and stress can feel overwhelming,

18. You wouldn't want any other major because you can't wait to save lives and take care of others.

19. And let's be honest...

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Queer Eye Gifs For Every College Student's Moods

Who better to represent the up and downs of college than the Fab Five?

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Queer Eye has taken college campuses by storm. I had no idea who they were when is stepped on campus in August, and now along with 85% of the female population, I am obsessed with five fabulous, gay men who change lives. So it's only fitting to represent my every mood with a Fab Five gif.

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