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Discussions

Module 2: Curriculum and

Environments
2.4 Unit of Study: Assessment Strategies and UDL
UDL - Universal Design For Learning:
According to the Education For All documents, Every student is unique, and will therefore
benefit from a flexible curriculum that provides him or her with the appropriate pathways for
reaching learning goals, as well as fair and accurate assessment. The ULD design was inspired by
creating accessibility for people with physical disabilities when creating and planning for a
building (Turnbull et al., 2002). For instance subtitles were used to help people who were deaf or
hearing impaired. Researchers noted that specialized technology was helpful for other uses and
people. With the example of the subtitles they are now used to replace the sound of a television in
places such as a waiting room.
WhenthinkingabouttheUDLofaclassroomithelpsincreatinganenvironmentthatissupportiveandadjustableforall
learnersinhelpingthemincreasefullaccessofthecurriculum(EducationForAll,10).Themoreoptionswesetoutforour
studentsthemoreweareincreasingtherateofsuccess.IncreatingthisenvironmenttheUDLassistsinexpectationsand
objectivesoflearningsituations,teachingstrategiesandlearningsituations,pedagogicalmaterials,technologicaltools,
varietyofproductsresultingfromlearningsituationsandassessment(EducationforAll,11)In a diverse classroom,
no single method can reach all learners. Multiple pathways to achieving goals are needed.
(Hitchcock et al., 2002, p. 18)

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies:


The same way we want our student to plan for their assignments with the end in mind we need to
plan our lessons and units in the same way. When creating a unit or course we should plan using
the backward design method. This essentially means working from the end, then think about
desired results, establish goals, create essential questions, determine assessment evidence,
create a learning plan, and start to plan. Using the Lesson/Unit Plan Template on the following
page helps me keep my ideas organized and with a specific focus.
Some ways we can serve our students is by providing multiple and varied assessments,
constructive feedback, conferencing, assessments designed to provide opportunities for students
to demonstrate the full range of students learning, open contact with parents. All these will help in
ensuring that each student is given clear directions for improvements.
According to the Ontario Curriculum documents, The primary purpose of assessment and
evaluation is to improve student learning. Once the students abilities are assessed the teacher
can better determine the needs and strengths. Through different forms of formative and
summative assessment (including assignments, day-to-day observations, conversations or
conferences, demonstrations, projects, performances, and test) a teacher can help guide students
in reaching and grasping the skills needed to be successful in the course. One way of doing this is
through descriptive feedback and constructive criticism.
The gathering of different forms of assessment also allows teachers to self-reflect on the overall
effectiveness of the flow of the course and classroom practices (Ontario Curriculum: Assessment
And Evaluation of Student Achievement). Assessment and evaluation is based on the Learning
Goals which are taken from the Expectations from the curriculum documents.
The Growing Success Document states that, In the past, assessment and evaluation performance
standards varied from teacher to teacher and from school to school, and this led to results that
were not always fair for all students. The creation of the Achievement Chart, Standards of
Assessment & Evaluation, and documents like Growing Success was created to make assessment
and evaluation of student achievement as fair, reliable, and transparent as possible. For example,
at my school we have Team Leaders for each course. This person has meeting with other staff
who is teaching the same course. They make sure that everyone is on the same page, share
resources, and make positive changes for the course. This helps in creating a flow for the teachers
and consistency for the students.

Work Cited: