About the Project

A collage of faces from the project teams
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Faces from the project team

Providing deep learning experiences for all students is a primary challenge of classrooms everywhere. A basic premise of this project is that barriers to learning occur in students’ interaction with curriculum because of increased content complexity and process-level demands, the diversity of students’ learning needs and the demands of differentiation. and economic constraints for materials development and teacher professional development. This project takes this challenge head on by offering solutions to these issues which involve more sophisticated, cost-effective and adaptive materials and high-quality support for teachers.

To facilitate the creation of flexible UDL instructional materials, CAST, the University of Michigan and the Education Development Center collaborated under grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF DRL-0730260, 0730348, and 0730603) to develop the UDL Curriculum Toolkit, guidelines for curriculum development, and middle- and high-school science exemplars. The Toolkit software is the first system of its kind, built to enable any curriculum developer or researcher to design web-based curricula or interventions — from scratch, as well as to retrofit existing curricula into a UDL-supported, scaffolded learning environment for middle and high school students.

Using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework we focus on designing learning environments that systematically deal with learner variability in both instructional and assessment design. UDL provides a framework for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone. Far from a single, one-size-fits-all solution, UDL enables flexible approaches that can be customized according to individual needs.