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Incorporating UDL Principles in Teaching and Learning: Principle III

Incorporating UDL Principles in Teaching and Learning: Principle III

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson, you will learn how to incorporate the third UDL principle, providing multiple means of engagement, into your teaching.

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In this tutorial, we'll take a closer look at Universal Design for Learning principle number three, providing multiple means of engagement. There are three guidelines that you can follow is you incorporate UDL principal three into your classroom instruction. These guidelines include provide options for recruiting interest, provide options for sustaining effort and persistence, and provide options for self regulation. We'll take a look at each of these guidelines in turn. Let's get started.

Guideline number one for incorporating UDL principal three asks us to provide options for recruiting interest. Many teachers have expressed a concern that students just don't seem to care about learning. One way to address this concern is to try to find diverse ways to build student interest and investment in learning. Here are some specific tips for addressing guideline one.

As you're planning for instruction, incorporate autonomy and choice in your instructional design. Provide choices for students in everything from setting their own academic and behavioral goals to selecting the tools that they use for information gathering and participating in the design of academic tasks and classroom activities as they feel comfortable.

Some students may appreciate the ability to make choices regarding the design or layout of both items that they create for you, and in items that you provide to students, such as notes or handouts. And a fun way to incorporate choice in the classroom is to allow students to choose the recognition or rewards that they can earn for their accomplishments.

Next, it's important for teachers to provide authenticity, relevance, and value in our classroom instruction. Our content and classroom activities need to be socially and culturally relevant to our students, and responsive to students' needs and interests. We need to make efforts to make these activities personalized to our learners, , and appropriate to their age and ability levels.

Learning outcomes should be authentic, and the tasks that we ask students to complete need to allow for active participation, experimentation, and exploration. It's also important to minimize any perceived risks, threats, or distractions in the classroom. Students need to feel accepted and supported in the classroom environment. While risk taking may sometimes be part of the classroom experience, we need to ensure that there's a variety in the levels of novelty or risk.

We should also aim for varying levels of sensory stimulation, and while it's definitely appropriate to expect all students to participate in whole class discussions, we also need to be sensitive to varying levels of comfort with social demands that are required for performance and learning.

Guideline two for incorporating UDL principal three, asks teachers to provide options for sustaining effort and persistence. We know that students are diverse in their ability to self regulate both their behavior and their attention. This has an impact on student concentration and effort.

While one approach is to treat this as a behavioral problem, another way to look at the situation is that teachers can provide options for supporting students who are struggling with concentration, motivation, and self regulation.

Here are some specific tips. First, build awareness in the classroom of the goals and objectives that students are working towards. A reminder of the current goals, such as a prompt to restate the current goal, a visual display of the goals in multiple formats around the classroom, or providing prompts and scaffolding that help students to visualize the outcomes of the goals can get students back on track if they've become distracted.

When possible, differentiate both resources and demands in order to optimize challenge in the classroom. You can vary the degree of autonomy that is acceptable for performance of a task, you can offer options in the degree of complexity or difficulty of tasks, and you can provide tools and scaffolding that will help students approach tasks from a variety of skill levels.

Encourage students to communicate and collaborate in your classroom. Collaborative learning groups that have clear roles, responsibilities, and goals may help students to focus. Some schools are implementing school-wide programs that focus on positive behavioral support. Encouraging students to support and interact with their peers can create a positive dynamic in the classroom.

And finally, use mastery-oriented feedback in the classroom. Feedback should be timely, specific, and frequent. It should emphasize student effort and encourage perseverance in tasks. In other words, your feedback should be informative and meaningful.

Guideline three for the implementation of UDL principal three asks us to provide options for self regulation. We all want our students to be able to focus and control their own emotions, and to find intrinsic motivation for completing tasks rather than having to rely on extrinsic motivation to keep working.

These are high level affective skills, so it's important for us to provide options to students that help them to develop and practice the skill set. Here are some specific suggestions. First, we can foster student motivation through the beliefs and expectations that we communicate to our classes.

We can use guides, reminders, and prompts that focus on behavioral goals that are self-regulatory. We can help students to work through the presence of distractions in the classroom, and set goals for increasing the time spent on tasks. Mentors or coaches can model the process of setting goals that are personally appropriate, and we can implement activities that encourage goal setting and reflection.

It may be helpful to teach students some coping skills and strategies. For example, feedback and scaffolding for managing frustration, models of coping skills, methods for reaching out for emotional support, and simulations or even real life examples can help to demonstrate coping skills to our students.

Finally, we can focus on reflection and self-assessment in the classroom. We can offer techniques and tools to help students collect data from their own behavior in order to monitor their own changes. We can also include class-wide activities that involve feedback for learners and alternative scaffolds when necessary.

In this tutorial, we took a closer look at UDL principal three, providing multiple means of engagement. We learned about three different guidelines for the implementation of principal three. Provide options for recruiting interest, provide options for sustaining effort and persistence, and provide options for self regulation.

Here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. If you have noticed that your students have trouble focusing or staying on task, could some of the suggestions that you learned in this tutorial help to increase their focus and motivation to stay on task?

For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Incorporating UDL Principles in Teaching and Learning: Principle III"

(00:00 - 00:29) Introduction

(00:30 - 02:35) Guideline 1

(02:36 - 04:28) Guideline 2

(04:29 - 06:05) Guideline 3

(06:06 - 06:24) Review

(06:25 - 06:58) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

Multiple Means of Engagement

This wiki entry provides both an overview of using multiple means of engagement in the classroom as well as practical examples. Scroll to the bottom of the wiki to find software suggestions for incorporating multiple means of engagement in the classroom.

Planning for a UDL Classroom with the EIC

The intended audience of this training was K-12 educators. As such, this presentation provides a clear overview and practical strategies for how to incorporate UDL into classroom instruction.