Finnegan, L. A., Miller, K. M., Randolph, K. M., & Bielskus-Barone, K. D. (2019). Supporting Student Knowledge Using Formative
Assessment and Universal Design for Learning Expression. The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, 8(2).
Finnegan et al. (2019) discusses the increasing importance of using a UDL framework when designing assessment. A key reason for that is that assessment is not one of the multiple means in UDL. However, we can use the key aspects of UDL (engagement, representation, and expression) to influence how we design our assessments. One example, this article mentions the idea of having students self-assess, then have the peer validate the score, and finally the teacher finalizes the assessment. There is more modes of expression and students take ownership over their learning. Another helpful aspect of this article was showing helpful diagrams for thinking as well as specific technology tools to support students and teachers.
Grundlingh, L. (2020). Laughing online: Investigating written laughter, language identity and their implications for language
acquisition. Cogent Education, 7.
Grundlingh, L., & Koo, A. C. discuss the importance of laughter in the classroom. They take this a step further and explore how this might play out in a digital setting. They state that even the act of writing the action of laughing in the chat has the same reaction as actually laughing. Laughter is an important aspect of expressing one's identity in the class. Depending how one laughs virtually it can say a lot about a person. For example, using hahah or jajaja etc. This can express what language the student speaks or how they interpret laughing. With this expression of identity and the importance of laughter in a classroom, this article continues to push further and suggest that language acquisition and identity go hand in hand.
Kieran, L., & Anderson, C. (2018). Connecting Universal Design for Learning With Culturally Responsive Teaching. Education and
Urban Society, 51(9), 1202–1216.
Kieran and Anderson (2018) discuss the ways in which two key pedagogies (UDL and CRT) can work together to increase support for students with a diverse set of learning needs. Universal Design for Learning is differentiating learning to meet students needs by creating a variety of ways by providing multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement. Culturally relevant teaching has four key components awareness, learning partnership, information processing, and community of learners and learning environment. Teachers must be aware of the multifaceted aspects students bring into the classroom. This is also awareness about how the teacher interacts with the students, the space, and the curriculum. A learning partnership is about changing the traditional view of the student-teacher relationship and pushing for more student agency in their learning. Information processing is connected closely with UDL the tangible work brought into the classroom as well as focusing on a growth mindset and positive self-talk. One way that these pedagogies overlap is the idea of reducing threats and stressors in the classroom. This could include disrupting status within the classroom, allowing for more student voices to be heard, and creating a sense of belonging. UDL and CRT require a deep understanding of your students unique needs as well as being mindful of funds of knowledge, strengths and abilities, background, skills, cultures, and preferences. Most importantly, teachers need to do the personal work of understanding their own biases they hold and how that might affect their UDL and CRT practice.
Krall, G. (2018). Necessary Conditions. Stenhouse Publishers.
This article focuses on the key ways to recognize and address academic safety. Four major takeaways are 1. Speed of content. The pressure to speed through content adds a level of pressure for students who may need more time. Learning is not a race and if teachers act that way, students won’t feel comfortable actually connecting with the content and developing questions. 2. Being correct. There is this desire for teachers and tests to assume there is a right answer for everything. If teachers are looking for the right answers students become reliant on teacher approval rather than creating their own conclusions on questions. 3. switching grades to demonstrate understanding. There is this need to put a letter grade on testing knowledge. However, how does that show students depth of understanding? By switching to more hands-on and portfolio based assessment, teachers are able to see what students are seeing and thinking better. 4. restorative circles. When students are able to bing their full authentic self into the classroom they feel more comfortable to challenge themselves and try new things. Restorative circles are a way to build community and trust within the classroom not only with the teacher, but with other students. Most importantly an academic safe classroom is a place where students are talking about the subject without teacher prompt, working with students with various backgrounds, and when reflecting back on school thinking positively about their experience in that classroom. Students don’t always remember the content, but they do remember how they feel in the classroom.
Rao, K., & Meo, G. (2016). Using Universal Design for Learning to Design Standards-Based Lessons. SAGE, (Special Issue), 1-12.
Rao and Meo suggest clear and specific ways to have standards support UDL. A key component to understanding standards is that standards are used as a loose guideline of what students should achieve but they do not specify how that needs to be done. Since standards can be very dense. Rao and Meo suggest creating a chart to help breakdown exactly what the standard is asking. Once it is clear what the standard is asking, the next step is to consider how to assess the students. When it comes to backwards planning a lesson, the standard goes on the top of the pyramid and the teacher works from there.