Week 4 discussion 1 udl & differentiation | EDU673 | Ashford University

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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can be defined as “a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn” (CAST, n.d.).

Differentiation can be defined as meeting students at their current level of readiness and then planning instruction around individual needs. When combining these two theories, classroom instruction becomes engaging, dynamic, and inclusive.

Using one of the following free online presentation tools listed below, create an interactive presentation that: Please use power point presentation for this work.

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a)    Compares and contrasts the two concepts
b)    Explains how you envision blending the concepts in your current or future classroom.

 In your presentation be sure to include: 

  • How      you will present new information
  • How      students will demonstrate their prior background knowledge
  • Your      strategies to engage and motivate students
  • At      least two scholarly resources from Ashford’s Online Library or Google      scholar relating to the theoretical foundation of UDL and/or      differentiation.
  • All      in-text citations included must be cited in APA format at the conclusion      of your post.

I will learn how to perform the task listed below by using the online presentations tools below. I am not sure if you can perform this task for me.

Post your link along with a brief introduction in your initial post.

Free Online Presentation Tools

Guided Response: Review at least two of your peers’ presentations and address the following questions:

  • Do      you think that each concept has been fully explained? Why or why not?      Using the information provide, do you feel children will be engaged and      motivated in this classroom?
  • What      additional suggestions that are supported by your textbook or      research-based articles to improve each concept’s explanation and to keep      students engaged in learning?

Online Tutorials:

Instructor Guidance

Week 4


This week you will:

  1. Analyze      how Universal Design of Learning is used in the differentiated classroom.
  2. Explain      how critical thinking is an integral part of differentiated instruction.
  3. Construct      differentiated learning activities that integrate technology into      content-based instruction.


Discussion Board

As you’ve learned, Differentiated Instruction (DI) is founded on the belief that students come to school with varying experiences, levels of readiness, learning preferences, and academic abilities that need to be accommodated through a multifaceted approach to curriculum delivery. On the other hand, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was originally an architectural movement that declared that physical structures should accommodate all individuals, with and without disabilities. Examples include a curb cutout for wheelchairs that also accommodates strollers, and closed captioning that benefits people with hearing impairments but also benefits emerging readers and visual learners (National Center, 2012). Since its inception, “Universal Design” has morphed into “Universal Design for Learning” with the initial concept of ‘equal access’ being transformed from physical structures to curriculum materials and learning tools such as digital media, universal closed captioning, and SMARTboard technology.

Although these two approaches have been established with divergent intentions, they are now used in combination to provide interactive and engaging lessons. For this week’s activity, you will create an interactive presentation that compares differentiation and UDL and blends the concepts in your current or future classroom.  The following short video (Eadens, 2013), provides a quick glimpse of some ideas that may be helpful.



Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action (The Critical Thinking Community, 2013).

So what does this mean to you, as an educator, when designing differentiated lessons? Think about the theory of differentiation and its foundation in providing meaningful instruction that is relevant and significant to the real-world application of critical thinking. There are many, many definitions of critical thinking out there. Please watch the following video (The Community for Critical Thinking, 2008) for a succinct definition with connection to education.



Eadens, D. (2013, September 3). DI UDL (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jta46w99cs4

National Center on Universal Design for Learning (2012). The concept of udl (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl/conceptofudl

The Critical Thinking Community. (2013). Defining critical thinking (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

The Critical Thinking Community. (2008, April 15). On critical thinking and education (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieve from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65PuojK3qEA

Required Resources 

Required Text

Puckett, K (2013). Differentiating Instruction: A Practical Guide [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

  • Chapter      3: Instructional Strategies Supporting Differentiated Instructional      Practices
  • Chapter      4: Planning for Differentiation


Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. (2011, January 14). Differentiated instruction and implications for udl implementationPreview the document. Retrieved from http://aim.cast.org/sites/aim.cast.org/files/DI_UDL.1.14.11.pdf


Edutopia. (2010, May 5). Differentiation Instruction Ignites Elementary Learning. (Links to an external site.)[Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqepSNNjowU

Waterman, T. (n.d.). Differentiation and technology. (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/twaterman/differentiation-and-technology


Pearltrees (Links to an external site.) (http://www.pearltrees.com)

Prezi (Links to an external site.) (http://www.prezi.com)

VoiceThread (Links to an external site.) (http://voicethread.com)

Recommended Resources 


CAST. (n.d.). About universal design learning (Links to an external site.). (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/udl

Everything DI. (n.d.). Tech connections. (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.everythingdi.net/mitech/techconnect.htm

Lamb, A. (2003, June). Ten tips for differentiation (Links to an external site.). (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://eduscapes.com/sessions/needs/elementary2.html

Matthews, R. (n.d.). Digital tools – live binder. (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=157825

Smith, T. (2012, July 2). Writing measurable learning objectives (Links to an external site.).  (Links to an external site.)Retrieved from http://teachonline.asu.edu/2012/07/writing-measurable-learning-objectives

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2011). P21 common core toolkit (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/P21CommonCoreToolkit.pdf

Walsh, K. (2012, September 12). 10 emerging education and instructional technologies that all educators should know about. (Links to an external site.) Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/09/10-emerging-education-and-instructional-technologies-that-all-educators-should-know-about-2012/


Common Core State Standards  (Links to an external site.)(http://www.corestandards.org)

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