Universal Design: Assessment
Section 6: Key Component of Universal Design: Assessment
One of the key barriers to student success in higher education is that students often do not fully understand what is expected from them. The reasons for this could be varied: they are underprepared for college, they struggle with higher order thinking, or they simply do not understand what it means to produce college-level work. Strategies to help students meet college expectations include:
Faculty who have incorporated Universal Design for Learning elements in their assessments report that students in their courses are both more engaged and more successful. When professors are ready to consider modifying how they assess students, the best strategy is to list their traditional forms of assessment and then brainstorm (with or without colleagues) how they could include more universal design strategies.
Considerations for students with ID
The above tips for universally designing assessment will help all students, including students with ID. If a student with an intellectual disability is taking a course for credit, they are expected to meet all course requirements, including participating in and being graded on all course assignments. If a student is auditing the course, the student may or may not participate in the assessment activities of the course—depending on the course and the student. Some students want to participate fully in all assessments and get feedback from instructors that focuses on what was successful about their performance. Other students may benefit from having choice in the type of assessment to meet his/her particular learning style.