"UDL is great but how does it support students during test taking settings?"
This is a very common and understandable question that people find themselves asking as they discover Universal Design for Learning. So with testing season upon us! Let's dive into a conversation about ways we can incorporate the checkpoints around engagement and action & expression in our quest to support students' during test time!
Multiple Means of Engagement
We have to get our learners engaged with tests! Easier said then done we know, but students having opportunities to feel safe, strategize, and use tools is imperative for them to have the skills they need for success. Remember during the testing phase of instruction we often are placing students in the most restrictive settings monitor progress and so we want to equip them with the internal reflective strategies to be successful. Here are some checkpoints and strategies to consider:
Provide Options for Self-regulation
Multiple Means of Action & Expression
Ultimately a well designed summative test should be one of many ways a students' executive brain networks are being challenged. During tests though, it is incredibly important to provide students with strategies they can do internally to support themselves. Below we are going to look at the checkpoints that we can reinforce before and after a test to support students incorporating high quality thinking.
Provide Options for Executive Functions
In closing, the goal of for Universal Design for Learning is creating expert learners. We need our students to be able to thrive in what ever environment they find themselves in, whether out on a job site, in a classroom, creating a project, or taking a formal test. Students become experts when they know how to use the knowledge and tools and resources at their disposal to show their understanding and get tasks done!
Here is a link to a google doc! Let us know if you have other ideas to add!
Amy Williams & Zach Smith
District Leads for Universal Design for Learning
Sanger unified school district
Curriculum & Instruction department