Marian-Ellen Ring’s Portfolio †
My fall 2016 UDL project was to see whether using on-line features of a textbook would be beneficial to students with and without particular needs.
My course is a Humanities course – Critical Thinking. For several weeks of the course, students learn technical aspects of argumentation in a practical way.
I use a flipped pedagogy, where students are introduced to the new concepts at home by reading the textbook and try at least one practical exercise. In class, with teacher and peer support, they practise further to increase their skill level.
A challenge has been getting all the students to do the work before class. This meant that in class, not everyone was prepared to do the planned work.
I decided to try the MindTap online features of my textbook, to see if this would improve student participation and skill level before class.
The main features were:
- A captioned video explaining the relevance of each concept.
- Online textbook.
- Audio version of the textbook.
- Exercises with immediate feedback and multiple attempts.
Included here is a table, based on the UDL guidelines table, of UDL pedagogical strategies.
The items in blue are things that I already do.
The items in green are the new elements introduced in the fall of 2016, mostly through the online feature of my textbook: MindTap. These are the most relevant to my project.
The items in red are strategies that I learned in the UDL sessions in the fall of 2016, and that I plan to introduce in future classes.
Also included here are the questions from the four surveys that I conducted near the end of the semester, in order to get student feedback on the usefulness of the features of MindTap for all students, but especially those who have self-identified as having particular needs.
I have not yet analysed the results in detail, but a preliminary examination shows that the most useful feature for students is the audio textbook. This is particularly interesting given the possibility of converting text to audio through the AccessAbilities Centre.