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Universal Design for Learning
The Representation Principle

Options for Comprehension

The third guideline for the principle of Representation is focused on educators providing strategies for students to identify the most important features of information, to activate prior knowledge and prerequisite knowledge, and to choose material that will help them construct meaning and comprehension. Brainstorming is an example of a collaborative activity to activate prior knowledge.

By chunking content and creating opportunities for learners to self-assess and reflect on their learning, we can help students learn how to identify, revise, and review any gaps in their learning. When educators establish clear expectations about what objectives need to be met, students can create their own goals.

Comprehension also includes the important skillset of finding, organizing, and managing information and resources. This is fundamental to recognizing patterns and big ideas, understanding content, and reflecting on selection choices.

Consider Curation

Curation is the organization of content that is editorialized before sharing. Curation is a great way to learn to gather, categorize, and manage resources from the extensive (internet) sources available. Curation can be themed as it relates to elements of a topic being explored. Curation as a basic skill need not be relegated to grad-student-level literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, or, for example, the library we curated for this course. This article, “Using Curation Tools as a Connected EducatorOpens in a new window” (Word count: 813) explains why it’s important for students to learn the basic “art of curation.”

Next sectionThe “What” of Learning: Our Brain’s Recognition Networks