Assessment Design: Perspectives and Examples Informed by Universal Design for Learning

Section 3.4: Reviewing the Sample Assessment Plan with UDL Principles

Reviewing the Sample Assessment Plan with UDL Principles

Generally speaking, the assessment plan and description above allows frequent and varied formative assessment, with some assessment at slightly higher stake. The assessment plan is well-distributed throughout the semester so both students and the instructor have the time to allocate their time properly.

The description helps engage the students by explaining “why”:  the relevance and potential skills students will acquire through the assignments. In addition, many of the assignments have rubrics and guidelines which support student self-assessment and reflection. In some of the assignments, students have the option to choose their preferred means of representation. The instructor also provides multiple means to represent content such as journal articles, videos, and online workshops to ensure students’ success.

What is also valuable in this assessment plan is that students are able to construct their knowledge and express their learning in different formats and at various occasions. The assessment plan also guides higher order thinking such as goal setting, planning, and progress monitoring, which is an essential part of cultivating expert learner.

However, an assessment plan like this still have room for improvement. Take look at the sample assessment plan again and compare it with the UDL guidelines.


Reflective Question:

What areas can be further improved in your opinion?

The Plus One Assessment Approach

 If you are considering making changes to your assessment plan yet time and resources are limited, we would recommend the plus one approach by Jennifer Pusateri, meaning adding one thing at a time. The table below illustrates the plus one approach per semester:

Last Semester This Semester Next Semester
Assessment Plan 1. Test 1. Test

2. Project

1. Test

2. Project

3. Presentation

Alternatively, you can always reach out to the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation for support and design.

Your Next Steps 

Now that you have learned different types of UDL-informed assessment and reviewed a sample assessment plan, consider the following exercise.


Reflective Question:

What changes are you considering in your own course or program and how will you implement them?


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A Comprehensive Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Seanna Takacs; Junsong Zhang; Helen Lee; Lynn Truong; and David Smulders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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