Creating a UDL Instructional Plan

Creating a UDL Instructional Plan

This assignment is another opportunity to apply the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) in the design of instruction and assessment. In this assignment, you develop a lesson plan that incorporates UDL and effectively leverages educational technologies in the classroom. Specifically, using the Cast UDL Lesson Builder (2011) website (see instructions below on how to access this website), you will create a lesson in either English/language arts (ELA) or mathematics that includes the components listed in the content expectations, below.

Create your assignment using the content and written communication instructions below. Use the Grading Rubric to review your assignment before submission to ensure you have met the distinguished performance for each of the components described below. For additional assistance, review the Week Five Instructor Guidance page and, if needed, contact the instructor for further clarifications using the “Ask Your Instructor” discussion forum.

There are two parts to this assignment: Part I is an actual instructional plan and Part II is a final summary.

To prepare for Part I, you must first log onto the CAST UDL Lesson Builder (2011) website. Create a free account. Next, click on “Create, Save & Edit My Own UDL Lesson Plans” and begin constructing single lesson for a specific grade level focusing on either reading/language arts or math only. Each respective portion of the plan is inserted by selecting “Edit” and are detailed below in the Part I Content Expectations. For more information on each part of the lesson plan, click on the “More Information” button located in the lesson plan builder.

Note: Not all parts of the lesson plan will be used. Read the Content Instructions below to ensure you complete each component that is required.

Content Instructions

  • Lesson Overview (1 point): Include the title, author, subject, grade level(s), and duration of the lesson. (Lesson should be 30 to 90 minutes long, depending on your population.)
  • Lesson Description for the Day (0.5 point): Include a brief description of the essential learning to be experienced by students and practiced during the lesson. Include the approximate duration of the lesson (30 to 90 minutes total).
  • State Standard/s (1 point): Include the state grade-level standard this lesson aligns with. Include the whole standard rather than just its label (see Instructor Guidance for an example). You may use a standard from the Common Core State Standards or your own state standards.
  • Lesson Goals (1 point): Also known as the lesson objectives. Construct one to two content-specific objectives for lesson. The objectives should be written in student terms and contain a single, observable, and measurable verb indicating the skill in students will be assessed for during instruction.
  • Teaching Methods:
    • Describe the anticipatory set (1 point)
    • Address how you will introduce and model new knowledge (1 point)
    • Describe the guided practice (1 point)
    • Describe the independent practice (1 point)
    • Wrap-Up (Closing) (1 point): Explain how you will close the lesson and in what manner students will debrief from the learning experience.
  • Assessment (1.5 points): Describe what you will assess during the lesson (formative assessment) as described in either or both the guided practice and/or independent practice stages of the lesson.
  • Save your instructional plan as a doc. file and upload it along with Part II to the classroom for evaluation.

Written Communication Instructions

  • Syntax and Mechanics (1 point): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.

Part Two – Analysis/Summary Content Instructions

  • Reflection (3 points): In a separate two-to-three page Word document, include a reflection in which you address the following questions:
    • How does your lesson serve as motivation for learners?
    • How does your lesson stimulate critical thinking in your students?
    • How does the lesson model a non-threatening environment providing differentiated learning opportunities without isolating students?

Written Communication Instructions

  • Length Requirement (0.5 point): Two to three pages not including the title and references pages.
  • Syntax and Mechanics (0.5 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.
  • Source Requirement (0.5 points): Utilize at least two scholarly resources and the Edyburn (2013) textbook. All sources on the references page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.
  • APA Formatting (1 point): Use APA formatting consistently throughout the assignment. Refer to the Ashford University Writing Center for assistance with APA style and formatting or your copy of the APA Style Manual.

more info:

eek Five Instructor Guidance

Welcome to Week Five of EDU620: Meeting Individual Student Needs with Technology.  Please be sure to review the Week Five homepage and review the specific learning outcomes for the week, the schedule overview, the required and recommended resources for the week, the introduction to the week, and a listing of the assessments for the week. Next, be sure to read this entire Instructor Guidance page.


Week Five continues our learning about UDL with an emphasis on how UDL supports 21st-century skills and relates to career and technical education. As you recall from Week One, 21st- century skills refers to a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits and character traits that are deemed as critically important to succeed in today’s world. You will consider 21st century skills in relation to career and technical education (CTE) in the discussion this week and the creation of the instructional plan for the assignment Week Five Assignment.

Intellectual Elaboration

Do you recall the three key principles of UDL?  Take a look at the summary below for a quick review, if not!

  1. Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation: Present information and content in different ways
  2. Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression: Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know
  3. Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement: Stimulate interest and motivation for learning

Now that you have reviewed the principles of UDL, keep reading for information about career and technical education.

Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide students with a foundation for a wide range of careers that reflect the needs of the current workplace. More specifically, CTE programs provide quality work-based learning programs, relevant academic skills, and the employability skills and workforce behaviors necessary for college success and in technical careers. CTE programs support skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship and leadership (Association for Career and Technical Education).
Recall what you have learned from the Partnership for 21st-Century Learning ( regarding the skills students need to advance as citizens, learners in higher education settings, and as globally prepared and competitive workers. Is the relationship between these skills and what CTE promotes evident to you? Consider that associations can be made between UDL and the key concepts pertaining to CTE. These associations must be in your focus as you delve into the assessments for this week and as you prepare for the Week Six Final Project: Community Event.

UDL Instructional Plan

By now you have had several opportunities to explore and analyze the principles, guidelines, and practices associated with UDL. It is therefore time to put all you know into practice by creating an original instructional plan based on UDL principles. According to UDL, there are three key characteristics of universally designed lessons 1) clarity of objectives, 2) flexibility and options and 3) accessibility.  When these three components are incorporated into an instructional plan you ensure you are meeting multiple learning styles, needs and preference to create a classroom where all students benefit.

Clarity of Objectives
Objectives are what the students can do after instruction. Though there are many formulas for writing objectives, effective objectives most often contain at least three items: a measurable Performance, Conditions under which the performance will occur, and a Criterion indicating what level of performance is expected.

Performance: Describes what the learner will be doing when demonstrating that he/she has reached the objective; i.e., What will the learner be able to do?

Conditions: Describes the relevant conditions under which the learner will perform; i.e., Under what conditions do you want the learner to be able to do it?

Criterion: Indicates how the learner will be evaluated, or what constitutes acceptable performance; i.e., How well must it be done?

Objectives are considered non-negotiable, they set the standards for what the student will know and be able to do after instruction. Objectives are effective when they are written clearly leaving no confusion about what is required. Moreover, lesson objectives should directly align with and support a grade level content state standard. Below are examples of a standard derived from the Common Core State Standards for grade 5, English/Language Arts for Reading Informational Text and a corresponding lesson objective;

STANDARD: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.R1.5.2 – Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details: summarize the text.

OBJECTIVE #1: Students will identify the main idea in a selected reading passage.

OBJECTIVE #2: Students will summarize a short reading passage with support from at least 3 details from the text.

In Objective #1, above, the performance is that students will identify the main idea; the condition is in a selected reading passage. There is no criterion provided but there is likely only one main idea. In Objective #2, above, the performance is that students will summarize, the condition is using a short reading passage, and the criterion is to use at least three details from the text.

According to the Center of Excellence in Teaching (CETL) from Iowa State University,


A key to making courses and lessons coherent and tests fair is to write learning objectives-explicit statements of what students should be able to do if they have learned what the instructor wants them to learn-and to use the objectives as the basis for designing lessons, assignments, and exams. The objectives should all specify observable actions (e.g., define, explain, calculate, solve, model, critique, and design), avoiding vague and unobservable terms like know, learn, understand, and appreciate. Besides using the objectives to design your instruction, consider sharing them with the students as study guides for exams. The clearer you are about your expectations (especially high-level ones that involve deep analysis and conceptual understanding, critical thinking, and creative thinking), the more likely the students will be able to meet them, and nothing clarifies expectations like good learning objectives (2014).
Tips for writing clear and measurable objectives:

  • Avoid words like understand, learn, and know. They are not measurable because there is no product involved.
  • Sometimes the degree of accuracy is implied by words such as correctly and successfully.
  • Not all lessons result in a tangible product. Therefore, when students verbally demonstrate their learning, the measurable action involves telling, explaining, or discussing.

Flexibility and Options
Providing options for students during the learning process motivates students and increases their likelihood of attaining success in a given lesson. This supports the core of UDL; the removal of barriers to learning. Give students choices about how the access information (e.g., choice of textbook; audio or digital format). Offer students choices about what they can produce to demonstrate mastery of learning. By allowing students to choose it will increase their motivation, as students will succeed when the task seems doable and not demanding.

From your readings and videos throughout this course, you now understand that UDL implementation in a classroom is ensuring that all students will have access to all parts of the learning experience. While some students may require supplementary accommodations (for those with a particular disability); UDL decreases the need for accommodations for students.

Instructional Strategies: Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR)
Gradual Release of Responsibility, designed by Drs. Douglas Fisher & Nancy Frey, is an instructional approach that engages students in purposeful instruction that requires that the teacher shift from assuming all responsibility, gradually releasing students over the course of a lesson, unit of instruction, or unit of time. The approach supports instruction that mentors students into becoming capable, independent thinkers and learners when handling the tasks they have not yet become experts at (Fisher, 2008). There are four interrelated components of the GRR model as depicted in the graphic below;

[img title=”Teacher Responsibility Chart” alt=”Teacher Responsibility Chart” src=”“>

Effective use of GRR in a given instructional plan would begin with the teacher’s responsibility including the Focus Lesson also known as Instructional Input in which the teacher is able to model his or her thinking and share the intended learning for the lesson. This phase of the lesson is meant to be brief and provide the most essential information to get the lesson started.

The second phase of GRR is Guided Instruction or Guided Practice, in which the teacher prompts, questions, facilitates or leads students through tasks at a beginning level following the teacher’s modeling. This phase is also meant to be brief in comparison to the remaining phases of the process.

The lesson should now shift more toward student responsibility, including the teacher less and less with instruction. Collaboration with others and Independent Practice are essential in shifting the responsibility of learning to the student.

Collaborative Learning allows students to communicate and consolidate their understanding of learned concepts.  Examples of collaborative learning opportunities include work stations or centers. The key to productive group lies in functionality of the task and accountability of all participants.

Independent Practice is precisely what it sounds like. The goal of teaching should be to create independent thinkers and learners. As such, this phase of the lesson and GRR process provides students with the opportunity to practice what is learned without the help of others or the teacher. This phase typical requires higher levels of cognition including synthesizing information and transforming ideas, making learning more concrete.

When effectively integrated into a lesson plan, gradual release of responsibility shows not only what is taught, but how. It shows what both the teacher does and the students. To make this component of an instructional plan especially effective, one could include approximate ranges of time for each phase of GRR as well.

Other helpful terms:
Anticipatory Set: Also known as a “hook”, the anticipatory set gets students focused on the lesson for the day and sometimes links previous learning with new learning. This part of the lesson is meant to be short, focusing students before the actual lesson begins.

Closure: As the label suggests, this is the final stage of the lesson that involves the teacher wrapping up the lesson in a final effort to check for understanding. Effective closure involves students thinking about what was learned and oftentimes involves questioning and discussion lead by the teacher.

Formative Assessment: Formative assessment includes the informal ways teachers check for understanding during instruction as opposed to after. Formative assessment takes many forms including observations of student collaboration activities and student work samples (Dodge, 2009). Formative assessments are different than summative assessments in that the latter is assessment of learning, indicating a more cumulative assessment of learning over a segment of time or unit of instruction.  With formative assessments, teachers are assessing students for learning. When assessing students formatively, teachers gather student data through observation and collection of student artifacts to determine to what degree the lesson objectives are being met.


Assessment Guidance

This section includes additional specific assistance for excelling in the discussions for Week Five beyond what is given with the instructions for the assessments. If you have questions about what is expected on any assessment for Week Five, contact your instructor using the Ask Your Instructor discussion before the due date.

Discussion: Career and Technical Education

This discussion is another opportunity for you to demonstrate your mastery of the first course learning outcome; evaluate how the purposeful integration of technology in instruction and assessment supports student acquisition of 21st-century skills.

For this discussion, you will review 21st-century skills (refer to the Week Two Instructor Guidance for a review) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) as it relates to the principles of UDL. As well, you will investigate your state’s Department of Education or local school district’s website and their inclusion of CTE. This is a unique opportunity for you to get investigate what is currently in place in your own district or state regarding career and technical education. By adding this component to the discussion, you are able to make learning more directly relevant and applicable to what is occurring where you reside. Take your time when exploring your local school district or state department of education website so as to get a full picture of the direction being taken with regard to career and technical education.

Remember to follow the Guided Response prompt for this and every Discussion each week.

Assignment: Creating a UDL Instructional Plan

This fun assignment is another opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of the third course learning outcome; apply the principles of (UDL) in the design of instruction and assessment. Yet again, you have an opportunity to apply what you have learned in a meaningful way that can be transferred to your current or anticipated professional practice!

You will plan your content and design using the Cast UDL Lesson Builder website. You will create a lesson for either Reading/Language Arts (ELA) or mathematics that includes the components listed in the content expectations for this assignment. While you may be tempted to construct a lesson that focuses on a subject matter other than ELA or math, it is expected that for the purpose of this assignment, you stick to the expectations only as these particular content areas are most likely to have solidified state standards.
Please note there are two parts to this assignment: Part I is an actual instructional plan and Part II is a summary.  Additionally, consider what you learned in the earlier section of this week’s guidance concerning measurable learning objectives as it is an important part of the plan you design.

It is important to start with a specific grade-level content standard from either your own state standards or those from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Notice that not every component of the lesson plan template you will build from the CAST UDL Lesson Builder will be utilized.  The Methods (Teaching Methods) section can be supported by the information found earlier in the Instructor Guidance section titled Instructional Strategies: Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR). 

The following provides a visual representation of the lesson plan template with each part labeled with what will and will not be used;


Lesson Overview:                        All parts are required

Unit Description:                         DO NOT USE

Lesson Description for the day:  Required

State Standards:                         Required

Unit Goals:                                    DO NOT USE
Lesson Goals:                              Required (aka Objectives)

Methods:                                      All parts required

Wrap-Up (Closing):                     Required

Assessment:                               Required (formative)

Materials:                                    Required


Before you construct Part I of the assignment, consider the reflection questions in Part II!



Association for Career and Technical Education. Retrieved from

Dodge, J. (2009). 25 Quick formative assessments for a differentiated classroom. Scholastic Teaching Resources. Retrieved from

Explore model UDL lesson plans. (2011) Retrieved from

Fisher, D. (2008). Effective use of the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Retrieved from

Teaching Resources (2014). Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Iowa State  University. Retrieved from

Learning Outcomes

This week students will:

  1. Explain the purposes, advantages and limitations, and methods of integrating technology to support acquisition of 21st-century skills.
  2. Evaluate UDL lessons for flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that support learning for all students.


As we near the end of the course, it is important to stop now and reflect on your learning as it relates to your success on the Week Six Final Project. Recall that you have had opportunities to identify and discuss the inclusion of technology in teaching and learning as well as discussed the principles of UDL. How have the areas of learning thus far informed your preparations for the Final Project? Now is an excellent time to contact the instructor using the “Ask your Instructor” discussion if any aspect of the Final Project expectations is unclear! Before we move into Week Six, however, during Week Five, the prior learning in EDU620 continue to spiral together, further enhancing your existing understanding as you consider how UDL supports the acquisition of 21st-century skills, specifically through Career and Technical Education (CTE). In Week Five, you will apply what you have learned by creating an original instructional plan using the UDL framework and by re-accessing the CAST free membership you began during Week Four. What you practice in Week Five directly supports what you are accountable for during Week Six when constructing the Final Project: Community Event! And, what you learn and practice this week further adds to your repertoire of skills needed as a professional educator.

Solution Preview

There several ways through which I am able to motivate my students. The first of this is that we use goals to learn. This means that we are able to set realistic goals before we start our class which we aim to achieve by the time that we complete the class. This is a very effective technique as it makes sure that the different students have something………………………………………..


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