Lesson Plan Version 3.0: UDL Revision

We have been learning about Universal Design for Learning (“UDL”).  Nate Stevenson gave us a wonderful presentation on UDL. In particular, we learned what UDL is, and what it is not.

What it is not, is a list of modifications made for individual students with learning disabilities.

What it is is good lesson plan design that makes the full lesson accessible to every student, not just those with learning disabilities. Design changes are accommodations to particular needs, but those accommodations apply to the one lesson plan that is taught to all students.

I have explained why this concept is so close to my heart here.

To test for the difference between modifications and accommodations, ask one simple question: “Can I teach this lesson plan and have all of my students meet the learning objectives and standards of this unit?” If the answer is “No, my students with learning difficulties won’t be able to meet the objectives,” then the plan requires accommodations. If your answer is “No, every student can do the activities, but they won’t meet the learning objectives and standards,” then the plan has been modified, and needs to be revised for accommodation, instead.

My increasingly woeful looking lesson plan version 1.0 has already been examined through the TPACK lens. I am now going to examine it through the UDL lens, considering it in the context of a classroom with a student or students with auditory processing disorder (“APD”).

The UDL model breaks the concept of accessibility into three realms, as shown:

From http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/take_a_tour_udl
From http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/take_a_tour_udl

The CAST Educator Checklist provides a line-by-line template for considering access issues under each of these realms. This is my completed CAST Educator Checklist for the UDL revision of my lesson plan. In completing the checklist, I have considered the usual barriers to learning experienced by students with APD:

Inability to sustain focused listening
Mishearing/discrimination of sounds problems
Problems following directions
Problems attending to oral messages
Distracted by background noises
Poor organization of verbal material
Oral and written expression problems
Difficulty remembering what they hear

My lesson plan version 1.0 has numerous access issues for students with APD:

Students are required to follow complex oral directions
Students are required to multitask listening and drawing
Students have no alternative sources for oral instructions
Students are required to read and comprehend long passages of text
Students are required to write journal entries with no alternative opportunities to demonstrate mastery
Students are not provided with scaffolding for understanding
Students are required to concentrate for long periods of direct instruction
Students have no opportunity to explore the content with inquiry

The technology is mismatched to the activities
The technology does not enhance access
The teacher is directly instructing, and not available for individual assistance
Students are not provided with multiple contexts for abstraction
Teacher is not checking for conceptual errors in student’s thinking
Learning is not being shared between students
Teacher does not have time to coach individuals in executive function skills

This just might be the result:

From http://www.slideshare.net/ericcole/teacher-tools-and-strategies-for-a-21st-century
From http://www.slideshare.net/ericcole/teacher-tools-and-strategies-for-a-21st-century

Therefore, using the UDL framework and the specifics of my checklist I will be modifying the lesson plan so that:

  • The activity of understanding Drake’s route and the activity of mapping Drake’s route are separated
  • Students will have access to personal copies of the information about Drake’s route – a text copy and a hand-held visualization (like a video or animation on an tablet)
  • Students will use hand held devices to inquire about Drake’s route and speculate on where else he may have gone, and with what result.
  • Students will create their own map of Drake’s voyage from the materials provided, and include their analysis of his route.
  • Students will have similar personal and multiple modality sources of information on the sinking of the Spanish armada.
  • Students will explore analogies to help understand the context of the events of the lesson.
  • A new role play activity will be incorporated for the sinking of the armada.
  • All students will have the option to draw a six-panel cartoon instead of writing the journal entries to demonstrate mastery.
  • The teacher will keep a real time content curation which shares learning of each student with all students.
  • Teacher will be available for one-on-one assistance, especially in checking for conceptual misunderstandings and coaching on executive functions.

I am really looking forward to turning this lesson plan into something that meets the needs of all learners in the class.


Lovett, B. J. (2011). Auditory processing disorder: School psychologist beware? Psychology in the Schools, 48(8), 855-867. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/964169339?accountid=12598

Fey, M. E., Richard, G. J., Geffner, D., Kamhi, A. G., Medwetsky, L., Paul, D., . . . Schooling, T. (2011). Auditory processing disorder and Auditory/Language interventions: An evidence-based systematic review. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42(3), 246-264. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/898325357?accountid=12598

Wallach, G. P. (2011). Peeling the onion of auditory processing disorder: A Language/Curricular-based perspective. Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools (Online), 42(3), 273-285A. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/885084168?accountid=12598

Heine, C., & Slone, M. (2008). The impact of mild central auditory processing disorder on school performance during adolescence. Journal of School Health, 78(7), 405-407. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/61996827?accountid=12598


2 thoughts on “Lesson Plan Version 3.0: UDL Revision

Comments are closed.