Universal Design Learning: As simple as pie!

Any person who engages with a child knows about Universal Design Learning (UDL).

UDL is changing the way you engage with a child. You teach through song. You teach through drawing. You teach by pointing, coloring, building, engaging, giving and receiving.

And the child learns because the message is delivered in a fun manner. A train is 1) type of vehicle on a track that 2) goes fast and 3) blows a whistle and 4) hauls material and on and on. In order to truly ‘get it’ it helps to hear, see, watch and feel the train.

A child learns using a variety of learning styles. It’s simple, fun and engaging.

Why should that change when a child goes to college? Why do the instructors feel that the room full of students have any desire to look at a list of details or sit and listen.

UDL and learning styles make sense.

Lectures do not.

See how simple that is!

Universal Design: It’s a no brainer

Universal Design Instruction is about offering coursework in a variety of ways. For instance, instead of just lecturing, an instructor needs to be aware of the learning styles of the students. Some students LOVE to sit and listen to lectures; others need to see drawings, diagrams or videos. Still others like to write and benefit from exercises where they use their hands and record the message.

The challenge is for the instructor to realize that what is most efficient (lectures) is not usually what works. Using different techniques is important – lecturing, videos, music, movement, sound and writing all work and, if incorporated, would keep the student engaged.

It takes extra work for the instructor but the end result is pretty powerful. When there is a student with a disability in the classroom and the instructor changes the way the class is taught (with the student’s needs in mind) … everyone benefits. That’s the whole point of ‘universal design’.
It’s a no brainer. Truly.