Foundation Science UDL Curriculum Toolkit Exemplar

About

There are a number of challenges to providing deeper learning experiences in science education for all students, especially at risk students, ranging from increased content complexity and process-level demands, the diversity of students in today’s classrooms, and economic constraints for materials development and teacher professional development. Solutions to these issues will most likely involve the need for more sophisticated, cost-effective and adaptive materials capable of providing high-quality learning for all students as well as high quality support for teachers.

To meet these challenges CAST, the UM and EDC created the UDL Curriculum Toolkit; the goal was to create an authoring platform to allow for the transformation of curriculum into web-based, UDL materials. Our approach to addressing variability and diversity in the student and teacher population is evident in our exemplar units. Using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework we focused 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—not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. The basic premise is that barriers to learning occur in the interaction with curriculum; they are not inherent solely in the capacities of the learner.

One of our exemplars is based on EDC’s Foundation Science Curriculum. Foundation Science is a comprehensive high school science curriculum developed by EDC’s Center for Science Education with funding from the National Science Foundation. Foundation Science comprises four full-year introductory courses in chemistry, physics, biology, and earth science. The curriculum addresses national science standards (AAAS, MCREL, and NRC), stressing rigorous, inquiry-oriented learning in contexts that are relevant to students. By engaging students in a story or narrative that involves the concepts and skills to be learned, the instructional materials provide a context and framework around which students construct understanding. Students are challenged to use their understanding to analyze or solve a problem presented in the story.

Exemplar

To access the Foundation Science exemplar, go to: http:/udl-toolkit.cast.org/fs/

Nine student guest accounts and one teacher guest account have been created so that you can check out the features first-hand. The database behind these guest accounts is refreshed weekly, so you may encounter other users' work in the program. If this occurs, feel free to try a different username. For the purposes of the teacher side, one demo student account has been created with example work so that you can try out the teacher features even if no other guest student accounts have saved work.

Student Guest Accounts

  • usernames: student1, student2, student3, . . . student9
  • password: guest

Teacher Guest Account

  • username: teacher
  • password: guest

Connect

Dr. Jackie Miller, PI: jmiller@edc.org