Learning Design Reflection

Ryan Edel — June 18, 2020

A UDL Reflection

For our UDL class this week, we're looking at how we use lesson design principles:

Reflect on activities in your area. Give an example for the following prompts: 

Give 1 example where the goal and method are combined (either necessarily or unnecessarily)

In English Composition, the major goal is helping students write more effective papers, and so the goal is usually met by having students write.  So to help students learn to write research papers, I have them write research papers.  One challenge, however, is that it isn't enough to simply tell students to "learn by doing" — I find it's really important to guide students through each step of the process so that they know how it "feels" to write an effective paper.  So in this sense, the formative assessment is geared toward the process of production rather than the concepts of what a research paper "should be."

Give 1 example where the goal and the method are separated.

In addition to teaching writing, I also teach my students rhetorical terms such as ethos, pathos, and logos.  For these terms, memorization of what a term means isn't helpful — instead, I have students use these terms in multiple contexts, both through their writing assignments and formative quizzes.  In the formative quizzes, I usually give students an example of communication, and then have them determine which rhetorical terms are being used.  Over the course of multiple quizzes during the semester, they come to understand the term through application rather than memorization.

Give 1 example where students are not provided feedback.

I have students put together research documents for their Project 2 research papers.  Often I don't provide direct feedback on the quotes and sources — instead, I check that they've found enough quotes to work with, and then I let them explain their plans to me either verbally (in F2F classrooms) or via online discussion (for online courses).  The feedback occurs indirectly, but I hesitate to comment on the quotes without the student there to provide context because quotes alone don't explain a student's thought process.

Also, a more important example is that I'll have students write a number of "starter drafts" and "rough, rough drafts" before they reach the rough draft / revised draft / final draft stages.  So I don't usually give them feedback on these early, early stages — instead, I give them requirements for the word count, and then ask them to revise and restructure their materials on their own before they submit the rough draft for feedback.

Give 1 example where students are provided feedback.

For the research papers I assign, students receive a lot of feedback on their rough drafts.  My goal here is to let them know what they're papers are communicating so they'll have an opportunity to revise and restructure before submitting the revised and final drafts for the project grade.  Depending on the semester, I'll also have students share their papers in a workshop setting so they can provide each other with feedback on their work.