Universal Design for Learning
You can be confident in your use of UDL because we have teamed up with internationally renowned UDL expert Katie Novak, Ed.D. to ensure UDL principles are woven seamlessly throughout our framework and our courses.
Creating Expert Learners Together
The MARIO Framework wants to empower special educators to apply UDL principles within a one-to-one learning context. To this end, the MARIO Framework has teamed up with internationally renowned UDL expert Katie Novak, Ed.D. to ensure UDL principles are woven seamlessly throughout The MARIO Framework and our courses.
UDL is an educational framework built upon decades of mind, brain, and education research that espouses three primary principles, all of which remind educators to provide students with options for personalizing their education.
The why of learning
Multiple Means of Engagement
To build engagement, there must be multiple options to foster both attention and commitment in all learners to address the unique variability in interest, effort and perseverance, and self-regulation strategies.
The what of learning
Multiple Means of Representation
Representation guidelines remind us to provide multiple formats and scaffolds when teaching to activate students’ recognition networks. Historically, for example, reading and lecturing were popular teaching methods, yet such approaches potentially entail countless embedded barriers for many students.
The how of learning
Multiple Means of Action and Expression
If we want all learners to present evidence of learning as well as attainment of learning objectives, we need to provide multiple means of assessment to ensure that students can incorporate critical planning and communication skills in their learning journey.
Development of Learners
Through the MARIO Approach, learners begin to develop the following aspects:
Meta-cognitive reflection through self-assessment in the one-to-one learning environment where the educator asks leading and guiding questions and provides self-monitoring tools
Meta-attention through the creation and planning of their personalized learning goals
Meta-comprehension through regularly discussing their learning process in the one-to-one space with the educator modeling thinking processes
The Creator of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
CAST, the creator of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), defines UDL as a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.
UDL is a framework built on the core belief that all learners are capable of learning at high levels, personalizing their learning, and becoming expert learners when educators design and deliver instruction with firm goals and flexible means.
Connections to Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework, or set of design principles, that embrace student variability and provide flexible opportunities for students to learn as they become purposeful, motivated, resourceful, knowledgeable, strategic, and goal-directed.
UDL is focused on “firm goals, flexible means.” When educators heighten the salience of goals and objectives and continually monitor progress toward those goals with learners, they build shared responsibility for learning and growth. The UDL Flowchart helps us determine if our UDL lesson plans are having the intended outcomes.
All students can reach high expectations when practitioners critically examine “one-size fits-all” approaches to teaching and learning and provide flexible pathways for students to reach goals. Additionally, UDL practitioners help to build student motivation and reach those goals through meaningful relationships, scaffolds, supports, and flexible design. This video provides a teacher’s account on how setting high expectations helps students with special needs excel.
CAST, the founders of UDL note, “UDL is based upon the most widely replicated finding in educational research: learners are highly variable in their response to instruction. In virtually every report of research on instruction or intervention, individual differences are not only evident in the results; they are prominent.” UDL Guidelines are informed from research in neuroscience, the learning sciences, and cognitive psychology.
UDL aims to foster expert learners who have built critical skills for innovation. Through a process of choice and reflection, learners are able to find the optimal pathway to reach their learning goals. The same is true for educators in the MARIO framework. Learn how choice works in UDL through Katie Novak’s Dinner Party Analogy.
David Rose, the father of UDL, was known for saying, “Teaching, at its core, is emotional work.” As educators, we have the power and privilege to create meaningful relationships with students as they become their best selves. By carving out time for 1:1 conferencing and support, students will have dedicated time to reflect, set goals, grow, and make meaningful connections in a model rich with scaffolding, mentoring, and modeling. Start creating a UDL lesson with the UDL Teacher’s Guide.
The goal of UDL is for students to become expert learners – those who are purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goaldirected – by learning to self-differentiate and make the best choices for themselves. Learn about expert learning with this blog and infographic from Unlearning.