Assessment for Learning

March 4, 2011

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  lloydcrew 

In March 2010 Professor Joseph Madaus from the Neag School of Education and Nicole McClure, a graduate student in our department and then member of our course, shared with us why and how we can implement Universal Design for Instruction in our teaching. About 25 minutes and 30 seconds into our recorded USTREAM session, Professor Madaus tells us that “UDI is the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities.” But what does this look like in actual practice?

This Wednesday we will have the opportunity to learn about Universal Design for Learning from Ira Socol, who blogs at SpeEdChange, where he takes a critical look at our current educational systems and what we can and should do to create learning environments where all students can succeed. We’ll be meeting with Ira Socol on October 26, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. EST in LearnCentral and welcome others to join us. Prior to our session, we’ll submit our questions to Ira based on our readings for this week and our own experiences, interests and realities. During our face-to-face time we’ll take a look at some best practice examples of UDL in college-level courses.

Our materials for this week follow a parallel thread, in that they call into question traditional assessment models, from end-of-semester exams and teacher-driven assessments to the traditional grading structures found in classrooms from kindergarten to graduate school. We also have several examples in which educators have used socially mediated technologies to provide more personalized and meaningful learning, as well as teacher reflections on their efficacy. What do you think about these readings? Do traditional grading structures no longer have a place in our current and future learning environments? If so, what could take its place?

Presentation Tools

Universal Design for Instruction Project Poster Summer 2010 UCONN

This Thursday we’ll be talking with Nicole McClure about her online and blended learning experiences through the lens of universal design for instruction (UDI), defined as “the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities.”

Digital presentation tools figure prominently in many online and blended learning environments. In exploring this week’s materials, can you identify ways in which these tools could support our diverse learners? Reflecting on your students and your own learning, how might these ‘next-generation’ presentation tools help students as individuals and as members of a community of  practice?

On Friday we’ll get some hands-on practice with a variety of cloud-based presentation environments, brainstorm our classroom projects and take a closer look at our wiki.

Update:
I’ve placed the link to our recorded session on our LearnCentral Event page. You’ll see it at the bottom as well as the links we discussed. One of our outside participants, Candida, posted her notes and thoughts on our session on her blog. Feel free to leave a comment there and expand our community of practice!