Using Universal Design for Learning to Create Effective Online Assessments
Abstract: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides students with multiple means of accessing a course based on presentation, action and expression, and engagement and interaction. UDL promotes assessments by design which will ensure alignment of assessments to objectives/goals, provide authentic opportunities for assessment, assess engagement, offer frequent formative assessments, help eliminate unnecessary barriers, support learner variability, use of rubrics, learner involvement, reflection and building communities. Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that focuses on providing equal learning opportunities for all individuals. UDL is based upon three main principles: representation, action and expression and engagement. Within representation, UDL recommends offering information in more than one format. For example, textbooks are primarily visual. However, providing text, audio, video and hands-on learning gives all kids a chance to access the material in whichever way is best suited to their learning strengths. Action and expression suggests giving kids more than one way to interact with the material and to show what they have learned. For example, students might get to choose between taking a pencil-and-paper test, giving an oral presentation or doing a group project. Engagement encourages teachers to look for multiple ways to motivate students.