Hi! I am Don Glass an independent education and evaluation consultant, and a former UDL Fellow at Boston College and CAST. Over the past several years I have been interested in how we can be as inclusive as possible in the gathering and analysis of data, as well as in the sharing and use of evaluation findings. Like our colleagues Jennifer Sulewski and June Gothberg, I am interested in applying Universal Design to evaluation for the purpose of removing barriers, providing access and flexibility, and promoting engagement, understanding, and use for a wide range of stakeholders.
To do so, we are exploring the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a translational framework for guiding the design and evaluation of curriculum, programs, and materials. The framework moves beyond accessibility to include learning design. UDL provides a research-supported conceptual framework, as well as a well-structured heuristic for guiding inclusive design and evaluation decision-making. UDL prompts for the design of multiple, flexible options to address variability and supports expert learning across the affective, recognition, and strategic neural networks of the brain. I would locate the use of the UDL framework in the transformative evaluation paradigm, and argue that it prompts for evaluation design that aligns with many of the principles of Empowerment Evaluation.
- Monitor and evaluate outcomes for knowledge, use, AND values. We typically evaluate participant knowledge and use of an intervention or program. Consider measuring and responding to outcomes that also monitor affect and engagement- initial interest, sustained motivation, self-regulation, relevance, and value to the stakeholders.
- Provide flexible options for data collection and sharing. The same paper survey may not be accessible or appropriate for everyone. Remove physical, cognitive, cultural, and language barriers in your instrument and report design. Provide options for vocabulary, language, and comprehension supports. Present information in multiple ways (i.e., diagrams, stories, tables, explanatory text).
- Support expert learning strategies. Build capacity for executive functions and self-regulation that have value and use beyond the evaluation. Provide the reflective and evaluative strategies for goal-setting and planning, managing information, and acting on formative feedback. Support the development of expert practitioners and expert learning organizations!
- UDL Guidelines. A digital version of the UDL Guidelines with comprehension supports, examples, resources, and supportive research evidence.
- UDL AA-AAS Evaluation Tool. An interactive online tool that applies UDL to the design and administration of state alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards.
- UDL Connect. A ning group on the topic of applying UDL to evaluation.
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