Courtesy of Barbara Ganley, I found myself visiting CAST's (Center for Applied Special Technology) website this morning. My curiosity was piqued by the notion of Universal Design. According to their site:
Erm... no prizes for guessing that the key lies in the word multiple. One of my drivers is to try to find ways to engage the widest spectrum of learners on a variety of different bases. The challenge is to design learning material in such a way as to cater to the adherents of both push and pull learning. To the linear learning programme as well as to the quick-and-dirty emergency requirement.
Universal Design for Learning calls for ...
- Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
- Multiple means of expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know,
- Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation.
While the learning objectives remain the same, it's the structure of the learning that has to change. The additional work that goes into providing multiple routes through the same maze, including shortcuts and wild rides - that's what's exercising me, right now!