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Frequently Asked Questions about a UDL Study PLC

What is a UDL Study PLC?

A UDL Study PLC is a group of educators focused on learning about teaching practices aligned with Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  Members will focus on low and high tech strategies that make their curriculum more accessible to ALL students.  The focus revolves around continued reflection and revision of teacher practices and sharing of insights and materials with each other.

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What are the first steps to starting a UDL Study PLC at my school?

Work with your school leadership to determine how a UDL study group can fit in with existing initiatives and expectations at your school.  Recruit interested members to join you.

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How should we structure the work of the UDL Study PLC?

One possibility is to structure your study group around HIAT’s Suggested list of PLC study topics.  Online professional reflection is a powerful tool for collaborative learning.  Consider having your group work in an online forum such as Edmodo to extend the learning.  HIAT maintains an UDL networking site through NING.  Contact HIAT to provide your group with access.

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Who should be on the UDL Study PLC?

UDL is a practical framework for all educators to engage, challenge and support all learners.  The UDL Study PLC will be most effective when it includes staff from a variety of subject and specialization areas.  Consider including paraeducators, specialists, and staff development teachers.  UDL is not just about technology and your group should not only include staff that is the most proficient with technology.  It's important that the members are committed to the group, so don't use an arbitrary method of assigning staff such as a member from every team.  Membership on the team should be voluntary.  We like using an application process to choose the members.

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What resources are available to help schools implement a UDL study PLC?

HIAT has staff surveys, applications for PLC membership, Self-reflection surveys, and a list of study topics.  

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What is the role of the administration?

For any study group to be effective, the members need to know that their work is important and valued within the mission of the school.  Consider how UDL fits with the school vision and how the study group members can contribute to that.  They will need:

  • A representative from the group to be a member of the school leadership team
  • Time to collaborate together
  • Professional recognition for their work
  • An avenue for sharing their insights for overall school improvement to administration
  • A voice in decision making about how to distribute and share technology resources in the building
  • Input into the Look Fors used to evaluate performance of teaching staff

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