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Support for Planning and Strategy Development in Universal Design for Learning

Support for  planning and strategy development is a universal design for learning (UDL) guideline that supports multiple means of action and expression. The UDL guidelines were developed by an organization called CAST. This article will explore how teachers and other educators can support learners as they make plans and develop strategies to attain their goals.

Support for planning and strategy development in Universal Design for Learning

Support for planning and strategy development means helping learners choose and follow the steps needed to achieve their goals. For example, a learner may set a goal to improve their math grade on their next test. However, the learner may not know about tools they could use to help them achieve this goal. Likewise, the learner may not know about tutoring or other strategies that they could use. This learner might try a variety of different approaches, but lack a plan that would help them find the best methods for them.

In contrast, a learner gaining skill in planning and strategizing might choose tutoring as the first step toward achieving their goal. This learner might realize that a tutor could help them find other tools they could use at later stages of the process. This strategizing learner makes plans to ensure they will reach their goal gradually, through different stages and techniques.

Methods of Support for Planning and Strategy Development

Teachers can use many methods to support learners discovering how to plan and strategize. For instance, teachers can remind learners to think about what actions they intend to take. Similarly, teachers or guest speakers can show examples of successful plans or strategies. Furthermore, teachers can create guides showing learners how a series of small goals can help them attain a larger goal. For example, a math unit may include several topics which will appear on the test. Learners who master one topic at a time will work toward the larger goal of improvement on their test grade.

In addition, teachers can provide templates or checklists that help learners:

  • Recognize problems they are having as they work toward attaining a goal
  • Decide what actions to take first, and why
  • Choose the best times to take each step in a strategy they have planned

Finally, teachers can create tasks or assignments that will help learners assess their progress toward their goals. For example, a portfolio assignment lasting throughout the school year allows learners to compare their earlier work to their later work and recognize their improvement.