The need for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) arises from the fact that the world is a diverse place. From schools, colleges to coaching centres, we can expect a diverse population of students with unique skills, abilities, behaviour and learning capacity. But the curriculum is the same for everyone. So is it really suitable to provide the same sets of books to learners who are going to perceive them differently? It’s time we realise that one-size-fits-all does not work anymore, especially in education.
We can only leverage diversity through inclusion. For this, we need a Universal Design for Learning that can accommodate the individual differences of the learners.
Universal design for learning helps you leverage diversity in a classroom
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a curriculum structure to enhance and optimize learning for all individuals based on research studies on how humans learn. It focuses on developing a flexible curriculum that suits all the students in a classroom despite their differences.
Universal design for learning maximises the learning experience of students by following three principles:
Provide learning content to students in multiple ways. This will help the learners to choose the best way that aligns with their own learning style.
Use strategies that stimulate interest and motivation among the students to learn new lessons.
Provide multiple means to students through which they can express and demonstrate what they have learnt.
Universal design for learning focuses on providing an equal learning opportunity to everyone
Universal design for learning uses scientific research to design such curriculum guidelines which provide:
UDL minimizes the barriers in learning by providing equal opportunities to all the students regardless of their family backgrounds, interests, abilities, culture, etc.
Ensure that your educational institute has flexible workspaces where students can learn either individually or in groups according to their choice. This will encourage students to take part in various learning activities with their classmates and feel more engaged.
Tell your students beforehand what they are going to learn ahead and why do they need this knowledge. This will help your students to know what their learning goals are and keep them on the right track to achieve these goals.
Share your content in multiple formats like pdf, videos, audios, infographics, etc. This will make learning more accessible to each student. For instance, if a student has a visual impairment, he/she can learn the subject through audio materials.
Ensure that your students are learning in the right direction by providing them with regular feedback on their performances. You can also inform them about the things they can do to improve their learning strategies, further boosting their efficiency and confidence.
As long as your students are learning the concepts and achieving their goals, allow them to submit assignments in multiple ways. This will ensure that students are learning comfortably in their own styles and utilising their critical thinking to understand the subject.
LMS helps institutes to implement universal design for learning
It is hard to apply UDL in educational institutes without using the right technology. A Learning Management System (LMS) comes in handy in such cases. Implementing the right LMS in your institute can help you design personalised content for students and assess their knowledge through multiple means. With LMS, you can
An LMS makes your content more accessible to each student. Whether your students are present in the classroom or they are staying in another part of the country, they can still access the teaching materials anytime just in a few clicks on their computers or smartphones.
Learning can be very rewarding, but only if every individual has access to it. By introducing a customisable LMS in your institute, you can create educational content that caters to the needs of each student and gives them a better chance at success.