UDL SMART Goals
Ryan Edel — June 23, 2020
Updating Project 2 Directions
For English 101, we're required to have two research projects that produce 2,500 words each. For this second project, I have students prepare a 2,500-word research paper on the topic of their choice. For the UDL final project, I'll update the directions for this project to make the project easier to follow for a wider variety of students. Rather than rely on purely written directions, I'll also prepare a series of infographics and perhaps also videos to better illustrate the project goals and objectives.
Represent SMART (specific - measurable/meaningful - achievable/attainable - relevant/realistic - timely) goal/objective principles. Please identify the following:
SPECIFIC - what will you do?
Choose 1 of the 3 parts of the UDL framework. What you want to implement from the UDL framework into your own teaching practices and/or course(s) (to better determine the core purpose of the outcome/objective) - in other words, in what ways could you modify this to provide more flexibility in presentation, or action and expression, or engagement?
For this project, I'll focus on providing multiple means of representation for the Project 2 research paper in English 101. I want students to have better visual alternatives to the written assignment guidelines — in particular, I want students to have a visual reference to the documents and stages of the research assignment. This way they can imagine each step and the final product before they begin their research. This will provide options for perception by offering visual alternatives (and likely auditory, if I have time for the videos) for presenting information. This will also provide options for language and symbols by illustrating the information through multiple media.
In a future iteration for this project, I'll also provide additional examples to provide more options for comprehension by activating background knowledge and highlighting relationships. For example, I'll illustrate how popular topics (such as music, sports, and environmental issues) can be approached in the research paper. But that's for another day.
How will you know if what you have modified/created is successful?
The most important measure of the success will be in how well my students understand the assignment. To measure this, I'll see how well students complete the initial assignments. In the past, I've had students make mistakes in terms of how to approach the research portion of the project — in particular, some students have misinterpreted the instructions in regards to how much material is required. I generally require students to find 40 quotes from ten outside sources — some students assume the initial five sources is all that's need for the paper, and others have added up the stages to believe I wanted 60 quotes.
I can also give a short open-book quiz where I ask students to evaluation different interpretations of the instructions. To reduce stress, I would make this a non-credit or extra-credit quiz.
ACHIEVABLE - what barriers exist?
What barriers exist for you to complete your goals/deliverable? What potential barriers to students (both in your current practices and as you modify/create something new) do you hope to address?
The main barrier will be producing the combinations of text and images that will be clear and direct for students without omitting key information. For example, the project requires specific types of sources — ten total, at least three each from primary, secondary, and scholarly sources. In the past, some students have simply found ten sources (typically ten secondary sources from Google) and assumed that this would meet the project requirements. So it will be hard conveying the complexity of the project through simple infographics. To get around this, I believe I'll need an overview graphic for the entire project, and then each individual stage will require a more detailed graphic.
Why will you do it? How does/do this/these objective(s)/goal(s) represent something different than what you normally do in your teaching? Please include your rationale as to why you created this/these objective(s)/goal(s).
In face-to-face classrooms, I'm able to regularly meet with my students to discuss their projects. During these meetings, I often address the questions and misconceptions before students begin the bulk of their work. In an online course, it's much harder to have the back-and-forth conversations that bring up these misconceptions. By giving students the direct visual examples of the project requirements, I hope they'll be better empowered to compare their work to an understandable standard.
TIMELY - when and where
Which course and which semester, place within the course, place within the content unit, etc.) you intend to implement this/these goal(s)/objective(s) and assess?
This material will be presented in the second half of the semester, at the end of Project 1. Project 1 focuses on specific research skills (such as differentiating sources), and the Project 2 infographics will help students visualize what these skills look like when applied to a larger project.
The infographics will apply to Units 10-16 of a sixteen-unit course. (I adapt the 16 weeks of a standard semester to the shorter time frame of summer courses). Hence, each unit has one stage of the Project 2 assignment.
Specify how you intend to present this implementation for as your Final Project for this course (e.g., a written paper, a PowerPoint presentation, a lesson plan, a unit outline, a infographic, a screencast, etc.). This is your choice and should be related to your implementation goal(s) and objective(s) - you could also consider this as a practice run for what you intend to implement in your own course.
My "basic minimum" for this project will be a series of infographics that help students visualize the project assignments for the research paper. For the UDL certification, I'll prepare a single document with the infographics and the full text descriptions of each assignment in the order that students would be reviewing these. Although I'll have this document available for students, my students will have these materials presented over the course of multiple weeks through Canvas modules.
If there's time, I'll prepare a guided walk-through with screencast software, and then upload that video to Canvas Studio. The guided tour would be of the Canvas course, since I could then share this video with students to help them better understand where to find the project requirements in Canvas. I would likely include that alongside the document described above, both for students and instructors.
Specify the day/date when you intend to have your final project completed. As per this course requirements, you should have this completed by the end of the semester.
I'm doing this for the Summer 2020 English 101. The project begins at the end of next week (presented to students on July 1, and then no regular assignments over the July 4 weekend.) I'll have the infographics prepared for the Project 2 stages by Friday, June 26th, for the UDL course, and then I'll have time over the weekend to add them to my Canvas course.