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Proposal of universal Design for learning, case study

The significant role of a teacher in providing effective classroom management has been the
meaningful dialogue to a successful future education of many students. More importantly, the
teaching practices involved with students who have been affected by health or social
circumstances (Conforti, 2012) Research has found that students with medical problems and or
social disadvantage are more likely to disengage with learning in an environment whereby the
teacher lacks the knowledge to carry learning adjustment in the classroom which in turn leads
to poor academic outcomes (Conforti, 2012; Honkasilta, Vehkakoski, & Vehmas, 2016). The
purpose of this paper is (1) to discuss a case related to a high school student experiencing a
common health condition, (2) describe the significance of the health issue and discuss the
learning needs required for the stockholder to retain successful educational outcome, (3) using
literature review, the assessment analysis the concept of universal design for learning and how
it can be justified and applied to provide some inclusion to a lesson plan.

To maintain the confidentiality of the student information, the name of the student will remain
anonymous, however, through the entire assessment, the name Aries will be used instead. Many
students live with health disorder while continuing their education journey. Aries is one of the
students at her high school education level. Aries have been diagnosed with mild Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The disorder is one of the most common mental health of
childhood. According to Honkasilta, Vehkakoski, & Vehmas (2016), there is at least one student
in every mainstream classroom requiring some adjustment to teaching practice. ADHD can cause
many challenging problems relating to both, the students’ academic progress and also their social
life status. This is due to individuals with ADHA experiences inability to sustain attention,
behaviour difficulties and task completion especially these require abstract concept. Similarly,
students with ADHD tend to experience a lack of emotional control, self-esteem and display late
maturation level in comparison to other students with same biological age (Loe & Feldman
(2007). Aries is in year 8 who generally does not listen long learning content instead she likes
participating in hand on activities and generally prefer working with her close friend. In addition
to mostly receives much more intensity negative fashion or very permanent print of her abilities
than maybe received by other students she also gets disrupted in unimaginable ways and often
she releases some strong emotional connection.

The increased focus for inclusion in education has been the cursor to improve the degree of
inclusive and classroom justification across the mainstream classroom. Keller, Al-Hendawi, &
Abuelhassan (2016), article reviewing the education of individuals with disabilities declared that
‘although, children, youth and adults have differing characteristics, interests, abilities and
learning needs, however, they must all have access to regular education which has the capacity
to meet their needs through child-centred pedagogy’ (Keller, Al-Hendawi, & Abuelhassan,
2016).In response, several teaching practice and pedagogy are characterised to acquire the
various needs of students with various health issues and disabilities in the mainstream schools.
This educational movement impetuses that regardless of the type or the severity of health
pressure, the students attending regular setting schools are to receive a quality learning
environment and the same level of expectation in comparison to other students. A study
conducted by Skaalvik and Skaalvik’s (2010,) demonstrated that one of the key aspect associated
with successful academic and behavioural interventions for ADHD student is the teacher efficacy.
This is due to the nature and the complexity of teaching students with ADHD that requires for
the teacher. therefore, teachers who have a high level of self- efficacy are more likely to
understand the nature of classroom management required for students’ academic
achievements., the correlation between low efficacious teacher expectation toward there
students. For instance, low teacher efficacy may predict negative view toward students who
exhibit unaccepted behaviour and predict that they will have low academic outcomes.
In classroom management, the wiliness of the teacher to justify and implement a variety of
learning strategies that are beneficial to all students regardless of the variation of their learning
abilities. Therefore, it is important that the teachers develop high-quality lessons providing the
students with the opportunity to achieve their optimal potential. According to Watson (put more
than on authors), maintaining effective classroom management and the significance of teacher
efficacy lies in the structure of the lesson plan whereby the teacher needs to be comfortable and
trained to establish the necessary elements that allow all students to feel part of classroom
community and learning process. In relation to Aries situation Merritt (2017); Jacobs, Hogarty
and Burns, (2017), stated that despite the effort and the success achieved to include students
with disabilities in regular school, students with ADHD like such as Aries continues to experience
some educational difficulties. This due to ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity and
difficulties maintain attention for long period of time that makes hard for teachers in general to
participate all students in learning. In addition, in cases where the teacher lacks experience and
the ability to create and implement effective classroom management that concentrates on the
student’s strength, intervention plans to control and shape negative behaviours in an inclusive
environment, students with ADHD continue to disengage with learning and show very poor
academic outcome (Merritt, 2017; Jacobs, Hogarty and Burns, 2017).

The idea Universal Design for Learning (UDL) developed to include the entire class in a learning
process and design learning based on students learning needs. Its principle involves the
curriculum developments, strategies used to manage the class environment and most important
lesson design used. This approach was established to dedicate learning and to provide an equal
opportunity and assessment to mainstream students as well as students with learning difficulties,
disabilities and social disadvantages (Griful-Freixenet, Struyven, Verstichele, & Andries, 2017;
Hansen, et al.,2013). This is through justifying and class environment, customising the learning
content, activities and teacher learning instructions. In contrast, UDL contrary the
implementation of learning design whereby the students required to completely mould
themselves to one-size-fits-all teaching style. Moreover, the aim of UDL is to maximize learning
process through teacher flexibility and reducing the barriers by emphasising student’s strengths
to excel in their own manner rather concentrating on the negative behaviours. Seok, DaCosta, &
Hodges (2018), demonstrated that shaping the negative behavior of students with ADHD by
concentrating of student’s strengths is an effective way to improve their overall learning
progress(re) UDL is associated with three fundamental principles to provide students with
multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression and multiple means of
engagement (Seok, DaCosta, & Hodges,2018).

The focus of multiple presentation principles is to involve variation in information presentation

in which the learner can comprehend learning content. For instant, the information in the lesson
is presented using different formats such as using auditory, visual context, games, ICT stimulus
etc.…. which in turn it allows the students to engage with their preferable methods and therefore
extend their learning experience (Griful-Freixenet, et al., 2017; Black, Weinberg, and Brodwin
,2015). With reference to the year 8 lesson plan, the changes and modifications was applied
based on UDL framework and are coloured according to which model it is classified under. These
alterations were established according to Aries’s case and her learning needs. As mentioned
earlier, Aries, the ability to retain attention is limited. The use of multiple presentations may
decrease and improve her understanding of content. Furthermore, the original plan provided
with the lesson objective, however, having it on the board helps students who struggle to
memories and retain aural information. Besides, the use of appropriate communication such as
language vocabulary, body language and gestures will ensure that students have more
interaction with the teacher. Accordingly, this may help to increase Aries’s attention to lead her
to improve her communication skills. In addition, providing the students with the hard and soft
copy of lesson content, the student who has the focusing problem or poor organization skills,
such as Aries will have the chance to review information and complete task later which they
couldn’t focus on during the lesson.
Furthermore, multiple means of engagement were used in several events. According Griful-
Freixenet, et al., (2017), multiple means of engagement involves the prearrangement of different
method and pedagogy to enhance students understanding of content and also to encourage
collaboration in the classroom environment (Griful-Freixenet, et al., 2017). Aries' strengths
involve working in an environment where she can have a hand on activities. when she is engaged
she can collaborate effectively, can complete the class task and participate in class discussion.
The use of cell city card game to engage students instead of giving the student worksheet, direct
questing will ensure that they will better connect with learning. Seok, DaCosta, and Hodges,
(2018), stated that students with ADHD are more likely to retain attention and show positive
behavior when teaching practice stimulates their attention through context that involves hand
on activities. In addition, seating arrangement, this strategy was included so that teacher can
allocate students who are very sensitive to surrounding environment can be allocated and not
been disrupted as much during the lesson. The lesson plan also incorporates modelling which in
turn further facilities students understanding of the task and increases their chance for
completion. For instance, the teacher in this lesson instructs the students of what task they are
required to do and guides them on how they can accomplish it. the task such as take-home
activity, there is a sample been given to the student to use as their task reference and decrease
the level or degree of task-orientated frustration.

Multiple means of expression were also present in different part of the lesson to improve
collaboration skills and assess students to express their understanding of content (Black,
Weinberg and Brodwin, 2015). This accomplishes in activities such as class discussion upon the
completion of Venn diagram task, cell city and a take-home activity. During these tasks students
like Aries are able to receive support and conduct classroom take whereby they been given the
opportunity to express and communicate their understanding upon their completion of the task.
Furthermore, allowing students including Aries to choose their preferable organelles in take-
home activity will possibly allow them to better engage and therefore improve their task
In conclusion, there has been a major focus to implement inclusion in the education system that
aims at all student to improve the overall educational outcomes for all students regardless of
their learning and health status (Hansen, et al., 2013). The use of UDL principle proposes that the
teaching practice and pedagogy are designed to involve a verity of methodologies and flexibilities
that gives all individual the same opportunity for learning (Black, Weinberg and Brodwin (2015).
According, the justification applied this lesson plan aimed to include all students and to improve
the learning outcome of Aries through accommodating her strengths and weakness by which she
can further involve in the learning process and extend her future success.
living world: lesson plan
UDL colour key:

multiple means of representation

multiple means of expression

multiple means of engagement

Stage 4 year 8 Lesson Number: 4 Syllabus outcomes:

Lesson duration: 60 Number of students: 25

Date: 20.06.2018 Topic: cells are the basic Resources: textbook, whiteboard, ICT, cell
unit of living organisms city card game.

Time Teaching and learning activities Centred

The teacher provides the students with preferential seating arrangements at the start of the teacher
10min lesson.
Select appropriate language and communication skills write on the board quick overview of
existing knowledge and what is the goals of the giving lesson.
Using the PowerPoint, the teacher gives a brief overview of introducing the topic- identify that
different type of cells.
25min Draw a Venn diagram on the board to be used at the end of the lesson, using power point teacher
presentation to explore animal and plant cell, provide the definition for organelles, differentiate
the organelles type of cell, their structure and functional mechanism.
Cell city (card game): the teacher introduces the students to the game by asking the students to
pair up, provide each group with their card and demonstrate how they can complete the game
by matching parts of the city such as city hall, transport system, power station, recycling facility
and city walls and matched to cell organelles base on the similarity of their function. The teacher
is to observe, advice and discuss the students while they participate in the game.
The teacher explains the plants, animals, human beings, building blocks, chemicals, molecules,
shape, size, explicitly teach the student the different organelles specialised structure within the
living cell. Explain the difference between animal and plant cells.
Discuss the structure and the function of the organelles including but not limited to: Nucleus,
Cytoplasmic reticulum, Ribosomes, Lysosome, Golgi complex etc.….

Blue- means of representation, Green- means of expression, Red-means of engagement

5min Students are to watch a video-link exploring the 3D structure of the animal cell. Teacher
students are to draw the Venn diagram presented at the start of the lesson in their notebook /student
and with teacher assistance, students are to label the diagram and try to fill each part while s
10min in pair of 2 students are to complete and answer the worksheet (what are organelles, organelles students
structure and function covered in the lesson.
10min In form of class discussion, the class revises the content covered in the lessons. For student’s Teacher
reference, the teacher provides an online linked to class activities to review. /student
Can You Haiku the Organelles (take-home activity): students are asked to choose 6 organelles s
and follow the 7 rules of haiku (Japanese poetry) given by the teacher with the sample to be
completed and presented to the class in the following lesson.

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