Top 10 UDL Tips for Assessment
In CAST’s Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice, assessment is defined as “the process of gathering information about a learner’s performance to make educational decisions” (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 2009). Universal Design for Learning (UDL) encourages “assessment by design,” but what does that mean specifically for educators? How can you use the UDL framework to design and reflect on assessments? Click on a tip below to get more information about it.
10. Build communities of practice that support curricular modifications from assessment data
9. Reflect on summative assessments for future lesson design
8. Involve learners in their learning progress through assessment data
7. Use and share rubrics to clarify expectations
6. Support learner variability through flexible assessments using UDL Guidelines
5. Eliminate unnecessary barriers in assessments
4. Include frequent formative assessments
Formative assessments are ongoing and frequent ways to measure learners’ progress toward the targeted learning goal. Data from formative assessments should influence instructional decisions. Examples of formative assessments might include reflection questions on exit tickets, “do now” questions, portfolio collections, journal entries, or quick polls with individual whiteboards or Plickers. Formative assessments can be used to determine which learning environments are effectively supporting learners towards achieving the intended goals. Ask yourself: • How do I use information from formative assessments to adjust future instruction? • If my learners are not achieving the intended goal, how will I redesign my instruction?
3. Assess engagement as well as content knowledge
Assessing student engagement in the learning process can support metacognitive reflection about students’ own learning. Engagement is essential for the learning process, so learning how to use resources strategically towards given demands in a task can encourage resourceful, goal-driven, purposeful learning. Consider a resource such as the Mood Meter to build vocabulary and reflection around emotion and engagement. Ask yourself: • How have I assessed student engagement during the learning process? • What strategies or supports helped a learner persist through a challenge to engage in the learning?