UDL aims to create an environment with many options to learn, and express what we know, in ways that works for us. And not just through reading an assignment or answering questions on a test.
It’s about providing multiple means of expression: maybe instead of a sit-down test, students make a video, maybe they create a presentation, maybe they answer questions orally.
And it’s about so much more.
All of these options make learning accessible to all kinds of learners, not just those who thrive in a more traditional learning environment. And accessibility can make all the difference.
For example, Xavier Cooper took the SAT four times. He’d been recruited to play football in college, but needed to get his test scores up. It wasn’t until the fourth time that he received any sort of accommodations.
Simply given extra time and the space to work alone, Xavier’s score jumped by 200 points.
In a recent video call, I asked Xavier how his life would have been different if he’d been given the kinds of resources and support he needed from a young age.
“I honestly don’t think I would have took the path of playing football. I thnk if I had more resources and more support, I would have gone into the science field of some sort,” he said.
But Xavier’s life did take the path of football, in a really big way. After his struggles in school, he achieved what many consider to be “the dream”: money, fame, fans. All the perks that come with playing in the NFL.