About this Micro-Credential
Providing Organization: Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Estimated Time to Complete: 6 hours
Submission Deadline: June 10, 2023 at 10pm
Competency: Earner applies the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines to design instruction to optimize teaching and learning during lesson implementation for improved student outcomes.
Key Method: The educator develops learner profiles using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines, analyzes methods, materials, and data sources for learning barriers, and evaluates and revises current learning design for the critical elements of UDL.
The Method Components section of the micro-credential provides an opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the content knowledge needed to complete the submission tasks. You can personalize your learning experience by delving as deeply as needed into the Research and Resources block to the left. As you interact with the learning materials, take time to reflect on your current instructional methods and practice the new methods and strategies you will use to demonstrate the competency.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a research-based instructional approach rooted in neuroscience of learning. The goal of UDL is to identify and remove barriers to learning and provide options for the diversity of learners in classrooms today.
UDL practices are organized around three core principles that engage the cognitive networks involved in learning. Cognitive networks are neurological processes that support how we acquire information, maintain motivation and engagement, and express understanding. The three UDL principles consider and support these research-based networks. When UDL principles are incorporated into learning design and implementation, barriers to learning are lessened or removed, allowing all learners to access and participate in meaningful and challenging learning opportunities.
Three Key UDL Principles
The aligned networks and principles address the “why,” “what,” and “how” of learning for all students. In a classroom implementing UDL principles of instruction and design, education professionals implement the following three key principles:
Affective Networks: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
Affective networks control the elements of emotional involvement in learning, such as motivation and the ability to focus and remain engaged with a task. When students feel safe, respected, and valued, they are more likely to persist with tasks, take learning risks, and accept challenges. Education professionals support the affective network by
- offering options that teach students self-regulation to support independent learning.
- facilitating engagement by recruiting students’ interests and encouraging them to share their interests as they relate to content.
- motivating students to sustain learning efforts by explicitly stating learning goals and providing time for students to independently reflect on their progress toward goal achievement.
Recognition Networks: Provide Multiple Means of Representation
Recognition networks are responsible for receiving and analyzing information gathered through the senses. In addition, recognition networks link new information to prior knowledge and support concept development. Education professionals support the recognition network by
- providing multiple resources, materials, and ways of presentation to support students as they learn and build their understanding of content.
- presenting students with choices by offering multiple tools, supports, and media to access content.
Strategic Networks: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
Strategic networks are responsible for planning, performing, and monitoring actions. Education professionals support students’ strategic networks by offering flexibility and options in how students demonstrate their understanding. Educators can provide multiple means of action and expression by
- varying methods of response when checking students’ understanding (e.g., group and individual verbal, auditory, and written responses).
- evaluating student mastery of skills or objectives through a variety of means (e.g., verbal, auditory, and written expression options).
(From Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2 [CAST, 2018], additional resources provided in Research and Resources sections.)
Submission Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria
This micro-credential is divided into three steps: Overview, Work Examples and Artifacts, and Reflection. These steps are broken down further into parts that are aligned with UDL principles.
- Parts 1-5: You will need to review the information provided and create the appropriate assignment. Click on the green ‘Mark Complete’ button after you finish each part. (This will give you a checkmark on the micro-credential’s main page.)
- Part 6: You will upload an assignment for each of the previous parts. You will be able to upload a maximum of 5 files, one for each part. To replace a file, just delete the previously uploaded file. (You will not receive a checkmark on the micro-credential’s main page until the assignments have been graded and approved.)
- Part 7: Once you have completed Parts 1-6, you will need to submit the assignments for grading. (This will give you a checkmark on the micro-credential’s main page.)
To earn this micro-credential, you must receive ‘Passing’ on the assignments for Part 1 and Part 5, and ‘Demonstrated’ on all criteria in the assignments for Parts 2-4. Once this achieved, you will receive a checkmark on Part 6.