The Innovation: Universal Design for Learning Modules, Supporting Literacy in Physics
A single, one-size-fits-all course solution can overlook a student’s unique way of learning and engaging with others. CAST, Inc. creates personalized learning experiences with its flexible curriculum that can be customized and adjusted to individual needs. Working with science curriculum developer Education Development Center (EDC), CAST applied this approach to Foundation Science-UDL Physics learning modules that support physics literacy.
All students benefit from Foundation Science-UDL Physics modules as a part of their high school physics experience, but the modules create a learning environment that supports learner diversity and variability by providing different levels of support, feedback, and challenge for each student and multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement. Module design incorporates:
- Universal Design for Learning Framework
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C-WAI 1999)
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d)
- The National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM, 2006)
The modules involve eighteen weeks of instruction and provide students and teachers with immediate feedback and just-in-time support. CAST released the modules as an open educational resource.
Common Core State Standards: Foundation Science-UDL Physics modules align to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts in Science and Technical Subjects.
Results Achieved: CAST, Inc. reports that many students who used the Foundation Science-UDL Physics modules made substantial academic gains:
- A statistically significant improvement in physics understanding, and improved motivation for science from the pre-test to the post-test.
- More frequent curriculum use (greater number of sessions) resulted in statistically significantly higher post-test physics scores.
Long Term Goal: To improve science literacy outcomes for all learners and broaden participation in science learning.
The Grant Project: CAST, Inc. received an NGLC grant in June 2011.
NGLC funding helped CAST, Inc. to develop, pilot, and refine the Foundation Science-UDL Physics modules. CAST disseminates the modules to physics teachers through its implementation network.