Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann, Ed.D.
Linda De Lucchi, M.A., Co-Director, FOSS (Full Option Science System) Project, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley
Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), Special Education Research, Math & Science Development Project
(Grant Number: R324A070130)
In science education today students are required to simultaneously read, observe, collect information, analyze, draw conclusions, and present findings while integrating higher-order thinking skills with knowledge in authentic problem-solving activities; these tasks are challenging for all students, including those with disabilities. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that offers a range of options to support students in accessing and engaging with learning materials.
CAST and the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, are developing and investigating a UDL Science Notebook (SNUDLE) that supports 4th- and 5th-grade students, in particular those with high-incidence disabilities, in learning science. The intervention embodies the essential characteristics of traditional science notebooks enhanced by UDL principles and research-validated approaches to support science learning, content area writing, and formative assessment. We are using the Magnetism & Electricity module from the Full Option Science System (FOSS), the most widely used elementary science education program, as a basis for our prototype.
We are currently in our second year in the iterative development of the SNUDLE digital environment. Using feedback from teacher focus groups, we are enriching the UDL scaffolds and supports and building a prototype to be used in formative user testing with students and teachers during the fall of 2008. After this user testing, we will further refine SNUDLE, conducting a pilot study with four classrooms in January 2009. Our project will culminate in a quasi-experimental research study with 30 classrooms (15 treatment, 15 control) in January 2010.
The following UDL scaffolds and supports will be provided in SNUDLE in addition to the scaffolds and supports already provided by the FOSS curriculum in their use of science notebooks:
- Action Lists to support student organization;
- Just-in-Time Descriptions of action steps to bolster internalization of the notebooking process;
- Just-in-Time Directions to support analyzing and interpreting observations;
- Show Me option to support procedures for observing, recording and organizing;
- Scaffolded Notebooking with leveled agent support for student responses and observations;
- Multiple Response Forms including write, audio record, draw, and upload media;
- Check-my-Work rubric to support students in observing, analyzing and interpreting;
- Accessibility through text-to-speech, long descriptions and alt text;
- Tagging to support student organization;
- Digital Formative Assessment to inform pedagogical decision making, assessment, and student learning;
- Student-Teacher Communication to support student organization and interpretation skills;
- Data Sharing to support student collaboration.
Download a handout describing the SNUDLE project.