Monday, July 24, 2023

Universal Design for Learning for Heartland Community College

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Strategies and Reflection for Heartland Community College

The goal of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is to design curricula that will engage each student with a wide variety of information and activities.  Rather than simply rely on lectures or texts, UDL urges instructors to use combinations of visual and audible modes to convey information, and then provide students with options for how best to show their learning.  Developing this website was possible through the UDL training grant I received through Heartland Community College.

Unfortunately, much of the development for this website was interrupted by Covid-19, so I haven't had a chance to fully update it with the courses I teach at Heartland.  However, the site does have helpful tips about how to build a course following UDL guidelines, and hopefully that can provide instructors with ideas they can use in their classrooms.

English Language Arts for YouthBuild McLean County

It's been a few years since I've updated the IFP page here, but I've been very busy with teaching in the meantime.  Currently, I'm developing two online teaching resources.  The fun part about developing new websites is figuring just how best to convey information, but it's also a major challenge trying to make everything work together coherently.  This is especially a challenge when building lesson plans — it's difficult trying to scaffold the material in a way that students will easily understand the content so they can apply new skills toward their assignments.

Here's a look at the main curriculum page I'm building right now as part of my teaching position at YouthBuild McLean County (YBMC):

English Language Arts Curriculum

On this website, I'm building the core curriculum for high school students attending a vocational charter school.  Given the nontraditional and asynchronous approaches we take toward education, it can be difficult finding common interests among our students.  We have new students entering our program four times a year, and each student arrives with different needs and expectations, so I'm putting together a wide variety of courses that follow a modular format.  With the modular format, students can enter a course at any point, learn a key skill, and then apply that skill to a given task.  This way, we can have workshops with groups of students who may be at very different points in their learning.