Creating an inclusive educational environment takes patience, time and a lot of hard work. Teachers constantly search for ways to adapt the classroom for all kinds of students, especially for those who may need more support.
With Universal Design for Learning (UDL), however, schools can now meet the demands of every type of student. UDL is an approach to learning that helps schools create an efficient and inclusive learning environment by removing barriers to learning. For a successful implementation of UDL into the classroom, follow these steps:
Set Individualised and Achievable Goals
You don’t need a full curriculum transformation to incorporate UDL. In fact, you can begin by setting small achievable goals daily for your students. Get to know each student’s preferred means of engagement, whether it’s a group work or a peer tutoring session. Measure success by how much every student improves in performance and if they hit their individual goals.
In the UDL framework, teachers are encouraged to give constant feedback to their students. If students do not meet their goals that were set at the beginning of the class, teachers can provide further mentoring at the end of the day. They can help students reflect on their work and encourage them to do better the next time around. This method establishes deeper learning and pushes students to reach their path to success.
Redesign the Classroom
Sometimes, the solution lies in the physical environment of the students. School chairs, desks and classroom technology all contribute to a student’s performance. Accessibility features, such as headphones for distractions and adjustable furniture, are central to a UDL-optimised classroom. When you invest in ergonomic, comfortable and high-quality school furniture for every student, you improve their learning experience.
UDL is meant to be implemented holistically. Although it can take a while to implement UDL into your institution, the ideology is simple: provide multiple methods and strategies of learning to uphold inclusive education.