UDL Principles: flexible ways of learning, flexible study resources and facilities, and flexible assessments

June 2, 2023, by Helen Whitehead

Implementing UDL 3: Multiple means of Action & Expression

If you’ve read any of our previous blog posts on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) or encountered it somewhere else, then you’ll know there are three main principles of the UDL Framework, developed by CAST. Each UDL principle is designed to help academics and others involved in teaching to improve how we present information, engage students and create inclusive assessment.

Multiple means of Engagement (the WHY of learning) asks: are learners challenged, interested and motivated about what they are learning?

Multiple means of Representation (the WHAT of learning) asks: is material and content (visual and auditory) presented in a variety of ways?

Multiple means of Action & Expression (the HOW of learning) asks: can learners express their comprehension and knowledge in multiple ways?

I’ve been collecting some ideas about what these principles could and do look like in our practice at the University.

The next principle we’ll look at is about multiple means of action and expression, allowing users to demonstrate and express their comprehension, knowledge and skills in a variety of ways. Inclusive and authentic assessment is very topical at the moment as we look for ways in which to assess in more meaningful ways. This is thrown into relief by recent issues concerning assessment and AI.

What can we do?

Provide options for self-regulation:

  • Facilitate personal coping skills and strategies with resources and discussion.
  • Signpost help and support.
  • Explicitly support coping strategies.
  • Develop self-assessment and reflection.

Give learners the opportunity and choice to showcase knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways by using a variety of evaluation methods:

  • Blogs.
  • Presentations.
  • Podcasts & videocasts.
  • Projects.
  • Case studies.
  • Quizzes.

Provide ways for students to build up fluency: let students practice:

  • Quiz questions with variables that can be retaken.
  • Discussion forums building towards an essay.
  • Opportunities for self-reflection.

Guide learner goal setting and enhance their capacity to monitor their own progress:

  • Provide assessment checklists.
  • Discuss what feedback is and what they want from it and how they use it.

Give learners an opportunity to co-create the curriculum:

  • Co-create some learning content.
  • Show mastery by creating a Xerte Toolkit resource for other learners.
  •  Co-develop peer review rubrics.

Previous posts in the series:

Implementing UDL 1: Multiple means of Engagement

Implementing UDL 2: Multiple means of Representation

Posted in AssessmentBlended learningE-assessmentLearner experienceLearning designMoodleStudent engagementVideo