Edtech 521 UDL and Lesson Revision Week 10

This week focused on learners with special needs and how we could revise our lessons to better accommodate all learners.  Special needs refer to not only people who are blind, deaf, or have a physical disability, but also those that have difficulties with information reception, oral and written expression, and attention.  The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) are guidelines to help instructors design lesson to better accommodate learners with special needs.  The guidelines are classified into three sections and this week I revised my lesson to better fit the mentioned guidelines.  The first thing was to add captions to my previous videos using a tool provided by YouTube.  It’s a neat tool because it’s very easy to add, and it makes the videos so much more accessible, especially for deaf people.  It’s also helpful for second language learners to improve their listening skills and understanding of the videos.  Next was to create an instructional video with UDL in mind.  Much of the instruction was recorded and delivered verbally through PowerPoint and Captivate.  Being that it’s a presentation tool, I could show the information in a simplified form to help students who have trouble receiving information through listening.  I used contrasting colors to highlight key words and images to provoke thoughts and make it visually interesting.  Watching the presentation, even without the sound, students should be able to get a good sense of how to do the assignment.  To help those that have difficulty with attention I added animation to the text and background music.  Finally this week I reviewed the entire lesson again to check that it lined up with the principles in the UDL guidelines.  My lesson primarily focuses on students using English to develop speaking skills.

Provide multiple means of representation:

  • Instructed through a video to stimulate audio and visual channels.
  • Added text captions to the videos.
  • Highlighted key elements in the text.
  • Added graphics in the presentation.

To add in future lessons:

  • Add a dictionary to be used with the vocabulary exercises.
  • Scaffold the learning by creating a separate activity for setting up an account and familiarizing with YouTube.
  • Create an interactive simulation.  If possible I’d like to use Captivate  
  • Provide an outline and have students fill in the details for a speaking activity.

 Allow different ways for expression to show understanding:

  • Create a question and record a student asking the question.
  • Have students record themselves when speaking.

To add in future lessons: 

  • Create a picture gallery with a camera, add to a presentation and narrate.  
  • Use an avatar software to provide an animated response.
  • Use GoAnimate for a dialogue or as a presentation.
  • Read and record; use audio tools to edit high/low frequencies and tempo. 
  • Pair work – create, describe and guess each others avatar.
  • Pair work – mini-debate; use a discussion board and express through writing.
  • Add self-monitoring questions on the class website following the assignment rubric.

 Keeping students engaged:

  • Created authentic situations by posting their videos to YouTube and the class website.
  • Used Quizlet to teach vocabulary; it has various activities and sparks competition among students.
  • Added additional links for students to explore; they allow students to choose. 
  • Peer-feedback evaluating each others speaking assignments. 

To add in future lessons:

  • Add reminders about assignment checklist and deadlines. 
  • Have students interview each other to contextualize the learning to their interests.

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