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Accurate and Informative for All: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the Future of Assessment

  • David H. Rose
  • Kristin H. Robinson
  • Tracey E. HallEmail author
  • Peggy Coyne
  • Richard M. Jackson
  • William M. Stahl
  • Sherri L. Wilcauskas
Chapter

Abstract

The goal of assessment in a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach is to provide the kinds of information that will improve instruction for each learner. Whereas traditional tests and diagnostics tend to focus on identifying weaknesses and disabilities in the individual learner, diagnostics in a UDL approach focus much more on identifying weaknesses and barriers in the design of the learning context itself, making it possible to probe whether a different set of options, a different path, or a different design might lead to better learning for any given learner. A UDL approach to assessment assumes the fundamental centrality of emotions as part of the anticipated variability among all learners and asserts that when we place emotions front and center in assessment, we obtain more accurate and meaningful assessment results. In addition, a UDL approach incorporates recurring and flexible assessment throughout instruction to provide ongoing, actionable feedback to educators and students before failure takes place, when taking action can make a real difference for all. Teachers, students, parents, administrators, and assessment designers/developers all need accurate assessments and timely results to use as feedback to inform next steps. Instructional approaches with a foundation in UDL will reduce the inadvertent barriers to learning that many students currently face, making the assessment of progress toward expertise more accurate, informative, and useful, and enable the mosaic of all learners to become masters of learning itself.

Keywords

Universal Design for Learning Assessment Formative assessment Actionable feedback Expert learners 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Rose
    • 1
  • Kristin H. Robinson
    • 1
  • Tracey E. Hall
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peggy Coyne
    • 2
  • Richard M. Jackson
    • 1
  • William M. Stahl
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sherri L. Wilcauskas
    • 1
  1. 1.CASTWakefieldUSA
  2. 2.Lexia Learning SystemsConcordUSA
  3. 3.National Center on Accessible Educational MaterialsWakefieldUSA

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