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The ability to have multiple representations of content can
be used to clarify as well as enhance the learning experience for students
For many students, a course of study can be disabling. Barriers often
exist that prevent the student from gaining access to the information.
The classroom of today is not made up of a homogeneous group.
Instead, it has students with disabilities, students from different
backgrounds and students with different educational and cultural
experiences. Therefore, trying to teach content using a ‘one size fits
all' method is not always an effective strategy.
David Rose, the co founder of CAST, which is a US-based nonprofit
research and development organisation, argues that when designing a
course, all learners would benefit if Universal Design for learning
(UDL) principles were considered at the outset.
David Rose is a developmental neuropsychologist and educator who has
done a lot of work in the development of new technologies for
learning. He's also the co-founder of CAST, whose mission is to
improve the access to learning, for all learners. This work has
developed into what's known as Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
which influences educational policy and practice in the United States.
UDL has three principles that can guide teachers when planning their
lesson. They are as follows:
Finally, the development in digital media means that content can now
be manipulated and presented in many different ways. Previously, text
was fixed and there was a "one size fits all" approach. The
ability to have multiple representations of content can be used to
clarify as well as enhance the learning experience for students. This
can lead to a diverse and flexible palette which caters to the
learning styles of the different learners. And the importance of this
should never be underestimated .