MON: E-Class of 2015, It's all about inclusion (Cath Wilson)
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3 December 2014
The presentation provides an overview of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with
the intention of sharing the authors networking journey towards embedding UDL
within an organisation to ensure it is fit for the online Electronic- Class of 2015 (E-
Class of 2015). This will focus on teacher preparation and will be achieved by
developing a learning activity for teacher colleagues to raise awareness of Inclusion
through the medium of the UDL framework. Inclusion is strongly related to universal
design as the process of curriculum planning aims to create products that are
usable by all students with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the
widest possible range of situations.
The UDL principles provide a blueprint for designing a curriculum that addresses the
diverse needs of all learners.The National Center on Universal Design for Learning
(UDL, 2012) provides guidance on what constitutes a UDL approach recommending
application of its three principles to curriculum planning;
Multiple means of representation.
Multiple means of expression.
Multiple means of engagement.
Moreover, the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST, 2009) believes that,
‘barriers to learning are not, in fact, inherent in the capacities of learning but instead
arise in learners’ interactions with inflexible educational goals, materials, methods
and assessments. ‘
The author aims to enable teacher colleagues to create flexible approaches to
learning and assessment at the time of curriculum planning rather than
retrospectively when a barrier is identified. Many institutions, ahead of the author’s,
have embedded inclusive practise at institutional and course level already, which,
the author suggests not only modifies the pedagogy, but also more appropriately the
Israel et al (2014) caution there is a current complacency that teachers who utilise
technology believe they are ‘already doing UDL,’ which is the anecdotal experience
of the author so far. Conclusions of the European Council on improving the quality
of teacher education (2007) agreed, amongst other things, that teachers should
engage in reflective practice and research and be autonomous learners in their own
career-long professional development. Whilst this focus was in relation to classroom
teaching, the author suggests, these principles naturally extend to the online
environment and E-Class of 2015.
This presentation discusses the author’s final artefact following the journey of
recognising the aforementioned research. With the importance of raising awareness
of Inclusion and UDL noted, a learning activity to raise colleague’s awareness of
UDL will be shared. The dialogue will describe the host Virtual Learning Environment
which provides opportunities for online asynchronous activity. The learning activity
results in redesign of an existing curriculum in line with the UDL framework and the
teacher’s responses will be shared. The expectation of colleagues contributing to an
online forum to share experiences and learning will also be discussed.
Finally, acknowledging the many layers to adopting the UDL approach within an
organisation, such as teacher’s professional development, the author warns of time
consuming engagement activities and will share an appreciation of ,’ don’t wait for
the perfect moment.‘ (CAST, 2014).
Notes for powerpoint conference presentation.
I am the Principal Educator for Nursing and Midwifery working in a large acute NHS Trust that has created a service situated Faculty of Education. My Professional education team are clinicians with professional registration and an interest in and now also qualifications in Education. Our professional regulators dictate that we maintain our own continuing professional development. The scissors= my surgical background, the book is my education focus, the laptop is to illustrate the move to e-learning, the globe is to recall the networking involved, the chair is because I have managerial responsibilities which I have used to influence my organisation and my team’s professional development. My focus was nurse educators professional development.
Inclusion is strongly related to universal design as the process of curriculum planning aims to create products that are usable by all students with the widest possible range of abilities , operating within the widest possible range of situations. The National Center on Universal Design for learning provides guidance on what constitutes a UDL approach recommending application of its 3 principles to curriculum planning as above. Moreover , the center for applied special technology ( CAST, 2009) believes that barriers to learning are not, in fact inherent in the capabilities of learning but instead arise in learners interactions with inflexible educational goals, materials, methods and asessments. Therefore my workshop was designed to raise awareness of UDL to ensure flexible approaches to learning and assessment are created at the time of curriculum planning rather than retrospectively when a barrier is identified.
Here you see a screen shot from the multimedia poster, I created. I chose this format as it has an inclusive design offering audio and visual graphics , especially with the video transcript provided, and it was an opportunity to showcase U.D.L itself. However the journey had started before this engaging with my organisation on the subject of UDL. When competing with clinical emergencies for attention I had to broaden the subject initially to General Accessibility in education to pull on external reinforcement such as the Equality Act, 2010 and our own workforce strategy. I accessed the agenda of 3 senior meetings and presented at 2. The other group still has other priorities. The main area I could influence was my own teams professional development using an online workshop.
I used our Internal virtual learning environment ( VLE) Moodle to host the workshop to raise awareness of UDL. For the purposes of this project it was scaled down to a minimum of 2 power point presentations , 2 activities including forum contributions and a final questionnaire.
The first presentation echoed what I shared at the meetings. The 2nd presentation discussed UDL and this unit lead to 2 activities.
Activity 1 – Look at the lesson plan provided and observe the UDL principles in place, post to discussion forum.
Activity 2- Choose a curriculum piece that they lead on and observe it critically in terms of UDL and post to the forum how they could make improvements.
12 staff received the Accessibility presentation at an away day, 5 staff accessed the workshop online.
Read slide first. A CAST webinar says ,’don’t wait for the perfect moment’ . If I had waited for my for my organisation to engage fully than I would still be waiting. So I have opted against throwing the towel in and opted for keep chipping away which is my status quo currently…………..So, if you have been, thank you for reading/listening!
14:03 on 2 February 2015