The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) designed a framework, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), to promote the accessibility of learning practices by providing multiple means of engagement, representation, and action and expression (CAST, 2018). The framework is designed to guide teaching practices to improve learning experiences for all people based on how humans learn. One goal of UDL is the development of expert learners who use critical thinking skills to be strategic, and goal directed. Critical thinking involves both skills in interpretation and analysis and habits of mind. Goal directed behavior involves a process of interpreting and applying information to make a decision or solve a problem. Providing students with a choice in the demonstration of their learning is to provide an opportunity to be purposeful and strategic in the learning process. There is very little research that has examined the implementation of UDL practices in higher education and more specifically the differentiation of completion of course assignments within a course based on student choice. The purpose of this study was to explore whether providing the students with a choice of differentiated means of action and expression on course assignments positively impacted ratings of course satisfaction, as well as resulting in the demonstration of critical thinking in the key concepts of the course content. The presentation will share information regarding the development of differentiated course assignments in higher education courses, application across courses and content areas, benefits for all students, and feedback and perceptions from university students.
Kim Muschaweck, Georgia College and State University, United States
Roddran Grimes, Georgia College and State University, United States
Stephen Wills, Georgia College and State University, United States
Robert Sumowski, Georgia College and State University, United States