Program 7: Mid-Semester Update


In this video we're going to follow up with Noel to see if he is still implementing the Universal Design for Learning Principles that he started to in the class just after the midpoint in the semester.

Even after putting in a lot of time with planning and implementing Universal Design for Learning at the beginning of class many instructors, especially those using it for the first time, tend to be less disciplined about using Universal Design for Learning as the semester goes on.

Without further ado, let's jump in and take a look at how Noel is doing this in terms of class environment, presentation and product.

In terms of the classroom environment from the beginning of class, Noel has arranged the seats in the classroom in a semi-horseshoe shape to facilitate interaction and group discussion as well as a good view of the front of the classroom. Although by this time some of the students have tended to drift more towards the corners, the setup is still conducive to group work and interaction with each other and the instructor.

Let's take a look at the class presentation. Up to this point we've only theorized how a class presentation might be Universally Designed. Here we see Noel is using PowerPoint slides with large text, limited words and good contrast. Also when using pictures or graphics he is providing a detailed description of the image to the class.

Noel has also varied his teaching style to benefit all students. A bulk of the class is still lecture based with interaction from the class. He does however, regularly have students work in groups to discuss a case study and interacts with the students to promote idea sharing and to give feedback.

Noel also varies the method of presentation and incorporates closed captioned video as a method of instruction. Following the video, to let students demonstrate what they have learned, he simulates a client interaction through a role play between two of the students that others help comment on. Unlike the group interaction, this type of instruction allows students to put into practice what they have learned.

When talking about class products at the beginning of the class, Noel had said he would make a class outline available prior to each session. And during this session we saw many students using that outline and supplementing it with their own notes.

Another product made available was a linked audio and visual copy of the notes following a class. This came from the SmartPen, which a different student was assigned to use to take notes during each class. And we found this process still being used at this point in the semester.

During the week prior to this class, Noel had given his online version of a test, where he allowed students to assess the test via a computer at any point in a 24 hour time period that they felt comfortable and ready to take the test. The students seemed to enjoy this method of test taking. This was also the second of three more frequent tests that Noel had promised throughout the semester. This allowed students to show what they learned in smaller chunks and focus on smaller things for each assessment.

As you can see by this video, Noel is still implementing Universal Design for Learning at the midpoint in the semester, just as he had set out to do at the beginning of the semester.

Next we're going to hear some opinions from some of his students on these measures.

Implementing UDL