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UDL and Assessments

jiun.kimm Posted by jiun.kimm in ISTE Conference 2013 on Jun 25, 2013 12:09:37 AM

How do we evaluate and measure UDL? This was one of the big questions at a session about Innovation and UDL.  UDL reduces unnecessary barriers in instruction for students by assuming variability while maintaining high standards for students of all learning levels. While UDL curriculum has proven effective, it has not eliminated the debate over assessment as, ultimately, students still live in a paper-and-pencil testing world.  While I firmly believe in the UDL framework and the idea that students must have accessibility and variability in their educational experiences, I also know that we must keep in mind that students’ state tests, college entrance exams, graduate-level exams, etc. have not expanded in variability.  What most struck me about this session about Innovation and UDL was facilitator David Rose’s point that, as educators, we are in the business of “preparing our students for future learning”.  Whether “future learning” comes in the shape of a paper-and-pencil test or a video game, it is our responsibility to ensure that students are ready to tackle whatever assessments come their way.  Therefore, my biggest takeaway is that UDL is not about an elimination of paper and pencils or textbooks, it is about an expansion and addition of the many methods by which students learn.