Introduction to Multiple Means of Representation
This video offers an overview of the second UDL principle and explains the ways that the Representation principle contributes to the goal of fostering learning expertise by offering options for perception, interpretation, and comprehension.
UDL – Introduction to Multiple Means of Representation
>> Welcome, everybody. In this video we are going to focus on the ‘what’ of learning and the principle called multiple means of representation. This principle is focused on the neural network of recognition within the brain, involving all of our senses. Presenting content in different ways supports resourceful, knowledgeable learners. In this chart, representation follows the principle of multiple means of expression because the affective or emotional state of being engaged and having motivation to learn, is the ideal state to begin to perceive and comprehend content prior to being able to act on and express what has been learned. But of course, they are all interconnected. The principle of multiple means of representation is concerned with maximizing the learners’ ability to perceive, decode and comprehend content. Again, each principle is founded by three guidelines and all guidelines are designed to empower students as they select pathways for their learning.
As we have described in the previous module, first guideline level is access. So moving from left to right on the access level, we come to the guideline of perception in the representation principle. Let's take a deeper look. Using the perception guideline, we can customize the display of information and offer alternatives for auditory and visual information. Options for perception make it possible for learners to customize their navigation of resources and to personalize their learning in ways that meet their needs. The educator goal in this principle is to empower learners to locate and to make perceptual choices from various materials and technologies and build the skills for ongoing location of resources over time.
Following the guideline of perception is the guideline of language and symbols which is based on the build level and is about building student vocabulary. For example, using glossary hyperlinks, explanations and illustrations and familiarity with the syntax and symbols of the content. This also provides opportunities to unpack the structure of whatever you're sharing and to decode text and images as well as promoting understanding across various languages and cultural understandings. Multimedia like speech to text and videos with closed captions and transcripts to accompany the audio, empowers learners to actively choose resources from multiple options. Here the educator goal is to empower students to choose and utilize strategies from amongst resources that will help them decode and build understanding across language and symbols.
When we move along the internalized level, we see the guideline of comprehension which is where we help students to comprehend the material; first by activating background knowledge which is based on lived experience and previous educational experiences. And then by highlighting those big picture, key ideas and patterns and relationships between pieces of information. We can do this by chunking information and creating check-ins for their understanding and how they are connecting this to their lived and previous experiences. In the online environment, learning can be guided by learner check-ins; can be created using various games, quizzes and self-reflection tools that support learners to identify gaps and determine next steps to address these. Multiple entry points and organization tools assist students to gather and curate information and record their understanding.
And then finally in this principle comes facilitating the transfer of these new understandings to new and novel situations such as applying new acquired knowledge and skills to critical discourse and formative projects. Scaffolded practice related to real life is critical to enhancing understanding of content and empowering learners on the road to finally acting on and expressing their mastery in authentic ways as we will soon explore in module four. We are always moving towards that ultimate goal of fostering expert learning and to that end, multiple means of representation focuses on the goal of becoming resourceful and knowledgeable. Of course, being a lifelong learner is a lifelong endeavour which doesn't start and stop when learners are with us but we can definitely support them on that journey.
Introduction to Multiple Means of Representation - Runtime 4:47 min
How may options can you come up with to deliver the following message: “Blueberries are good for your brain”?
As mentioned in the introductory video and depicted in this image, the UDL principle of Multiple Means of Representation organizes the ways recognition occurs using three guidelines:
- options for perception,
- options to represent language and symbols, and
- options for the construction of meaning and comprehension.
As discussed in Module 2, learners do not have fixed learning styles, and while many at times describe preferences for various ways of learning, these are highly variable. Our role as educators is to create a clearly described buffet that learners can navigate easily and which allows them to experiment with different ways of interacting with the materials.