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MON: E-Class of 2015, It's all about inclusion (Cath Wilson)

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catherine wilson
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

learning environment.

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).

Extra content

Notes for powerpoint conference presentation.

slide 3

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.

slide 4

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.

slide 5.

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.

slide 6.

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.

slide 7.

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.

slide 8.

12 staff received the Accessibility presentation at an away day, 5 staff accessed the workshop online.

slide 9.

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!

 

 

 

 

catherine wilson
14:03 on 2 February 2015

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M M
2:22pm 24 January 2015


Fantastic poster Catherine; absolutely loved the 'haha' at the end.  This is similar to my own case study where I tried something new regarding my own professional development and openness. You mention The European Council stating 'that teachers should engage in reflective practice and research and be autonomous learners in their own career-long professional development' which is what my own case study espouses.

I look forward to the results from your willing e-learners! Could you explain what sort of things your colleagues were doing on the VLE to create findings?  Would be interested to know if they were passive or active in a learning activity which was designed to raise awareness?

M M
2:22pm 24 January 2015


Fantastic poster Catherine; absolutely loved the 'haha' at the end.  This is similar to my own case study where I tried something new regarding my own professional development and openness. You mention The European Council stating 'that teachers should engage in reflective practice and research and be autonomous learners in their own career-long professional development' which is what my own case study espouses.

I look forward to the results from your willing e-learners! Could you explain what sort of things your colleagues were doing on the VLE to create findings?  Would be interested to know if they were passive or active in a learning activity which was designed to raise awareness?

M M
2:23pm 24 January 2015


apologies! I dont know how my doubel comment happened and I can delete it! sincerely sorry!

Rachel O'Connor
9:44am 26 January 2015


I hope I can come to your presentation as this sounds really interesting. I am also looking at inclusion and so am interested to learn more about UDL and the teachers of experience of this.

Samantha Marks
10:07am 27 January 2015


Hi Cath, it would seem that professional development for teachers is a core topic and it will be interesting to compare the different approaches across the presentations. Do you envisage this being something that teachers do in their own time or that time is allocated to them? My understanding is that time pressures on teachers are immense, and reading through some of the other students research, not much time is given to development. One of the downfalls of all of these ideas may then be that teachers do not have the time to partake. How are you ensure that there is 'something in it for them'? Would this maybe be a part of teacher training? 

catherine wilson
4:57pm 28 January 2015


Hi all,Thanks for your comments .

I used the Moodle workshop as an opportunity to showcase UDL itself so some dual relfection could   occur .The educators were engaged in curriculum design activities and forum postings finishing with a MCQ.

This should definitely be explicit in teacher training, as there are pros and cons to leaving teachers to their own development.

Alison Walker
12:32pm 29 January 2015


Hi Cath

Fab poster!  You highlight the conclusions of the European Council that teachers should engage in "reflective practice and research" s part of cpd and you also highlight the expectation that teachers will contribute to an online forum to share experiences. I guess as Sam  says teachers already feel they have a high workload and time limitations. It can only be in the interests of those being educated that their educators are continually updating their practice. 

I can see how there are a number of barriers you need to overcome to get buy-in from teachers here. This feels as much like a need for culture change as for a change in practice?

 

 

Dr Simon Ball
2:16pm 10 February 2015


Your comments and questions from your live presentation:

  • Does commitment to UDL limit the scope of individual areas?
  • Often, the importance of learning design is not fully recognised.
  • Bet the Moodle form wasn't accessible!
  • Have you thought about introducing a live online synchronous classroom session at milestones in the Moodle course? This can help motivation if activities need to be completed prior to the live session?
  • What about access to the forums - from my work in hospitals there was very negative pressuer about using mobile devices to access resources (even for evidence based medicine).
  • I wonder if UDL is one of those Damocleasean things - when you get it - you really get it
  • Is the learning being developed by practitioners or by dedicated teams?
  • changing cultures always challenging -Univeristies and helathcare are the hardest!
  • I guess you could have "internal only" mobile devices that couldn't go outside a firewall
  • QR codes for brinign up immediate learning on items etc is very good idea.
  • Im putting QR codes on the first page of lecture notes now, so students can instantly get them in class

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