Using Universal Design to Unlock the Potential for Academic Achievement of At-Risk Learners

November 2005
Teaching Exceptional Children;Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p22
Academic Journal
The article presents information on the concepts of Universal Design of Assessments (UDA), a project undertaken by a researcher at the National Center for Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of Minnesota. The UDA is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities, which accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. It can be applied efficiently with a minimum of fatigue. According to a number of research, the design is based on seven elements that lead to improved student performance on large-scale test items, including precisely defined constructs, accessible, nonbiased items and maximum readability and comprehensibility. When researchers conducted a study applying UDA, they found that considering broad-based educational research and specific graphic arts information helped them produce accessible and legible study guides for all students. These study guide acts as a bridge to instruction for students and reinforces concepts that they learn. Researchers assert that such reinforcement increases the opportunity for students to recall and apply their new knowledge during the school year and beyond it. INSET: What Is Universal Design?.


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