April 2021 TIC Tip of the Month

Overlap between TIC and Universal Design for Learning

Sustaining Effort and Persistence & Fostering Collaboration and Community

UDL is a proactive approach to creating learning experiences that are accessible to ALL students, in the same manner, that using a Trauma-Informed approach is universally beneficial.  Core Principles of a Trauma-Informed School align with UDL and include providing students with “adult approved” choices, helping students become resilient, building positive relationships with others, and creating environments that students perceive as inclusive and safe.

Within UDL, there are ways to provide choice for engagement, representation, and action & expression.

(Image of Engagement: The “Why” of Learning; Image of Representation: The “What” of Learning; Image of Action & Expression: The “How” of learning.)

The “Why” of Learning; Image of Representation: The “What” of Learning; Image of Action & Expression: The “How” of learning.

Let’s dig deeper into providing means of engagement that are aligned with the principles of Trauma-Informed Care.  In UDL, Engagement is broken down into 3 parts:  1) Recruiting Interest (Described in the March Tip of the Month), 2) Sustaining Effort and Persistence, and 3) Self-Regulation.

2) Sustaining Effort and Persistence

All students, including students who have experienced trauma, must build skills in sustaining effort, persistence, grit, and resiliency.  Grit is our passion and perseverance towards reaching a long-term goal while resilience is the optimism to keep bouncing back.  These traits for success are rooted in a growth mindset.

Many kinds of learning, particularly learning skills and strategies, require sustained attention and effort. When motivated, many learners can regulate their attention and emotions in order to sustain the effort and concentration that learning will require. However, learners are uniquely different in their ability to self-regulate. Their differences reflect disparities in their initial motivation, their capacity and skills for self-regulation, their susceptibility to distractors. A key instructional goal is to build the individual skills in self-regulation and self-determination that will equalize such learning opportunities. In the meantime, schools must provide options that can equalize accessibility by supporting learners who differ in initial motivation, self-regulation skills, etc.

Fostering Collaboration and Community is one of the Checkpoints of sustaining effort and persistence:

In the 21st century, all learners must be able to communicate and collaborate effectively. Mentoring through peers can greatly increase the opportunities for one-on-one support. When carefully structured, peer cooperation can significantly increase the available support for sustained engagement. Flexible rather than fixed grouping allows better differentiation and multiple roles, as well as providing opportunities to learn how to work effectively with others. Options should be provided in how students build and utilize these important skills.

  • Create cooperative learning groups with clear goals, roles, and responsibilities

  • Create expectations for group work (e.g., rubrics, norms, etc.)

  • Provide prompts that guide students in when and how to ask peers and/or teachers for help

  • Set clear expectations for respectful interactions within a safe environment for risk-taking

  • Create communities of students engaged in common interests or activities

  • Model collaboration and effective communication

Representation and Action & Expression will be covered in future Tips of the Month.

The information above was modified from the following site: https://udlguidelines.cast.org/