Do you sometimes wonder about how your teaching practices currently support your learners? You’re not starting this journey with an “empty suitcase,” correct?
For a quick evaluation of your own starting point, download the How Do You Teach? Checklist, adapted from Colorado State University and the ACCESS project.
To start, complete the first section of the checklist to consider the ways you currently create a learning environment where students have multiple opportunities for engagement.
What does Multiple Means of Engagement mean?
Multiple means of engagement refers to different opportunities for student involvement (e.g., interactive activities, group discussions, online discussion boards). This principle reflects the idea that students have different motivations to engage in learning. For instance, some students are highly motivated by spontaneity and innovation while others may be uncomfortable in such learning environments. Some students may seek active social learning forums while others will retreat from such environments. Students who are more engaged in learning will be enthusiastic about applying their knowledge and will have a desire to learn more on their own. This principle also refers to offering varying levels of challenge, fostering community and collaboration, and supporting students in self-regulating their learning. In a learning environment that applies this principle, learners are challenged, excited, and motivated about what they are learning.
“I love the interactive classes because that’s where I learn, like I don’t learn from writing. I need someone to teach me through it. I saw this classroom where everyone was just sitting in a circle and the prof sat there too, like all in a circle, all interacting with one another and that’s how they were being taught and for me that’s the best way for me to learn.”
“Discussion groups have really helped me, just going through different scenarios and articles and stuff like that and our prof is really good at directing the conversation when he could tell things are getting maybe off track, he kind of redirects it. And we had a lot of guest speakers, it gets boring to sometimes read those books but those practical stories are more interesting.”
-Student testimonials from the Wellness Strategy Report highlight the impact on learning and engagement where multiple means of engagement are used in a course.
The following short video from the Southern Illinois Professional Development Center offers an overview of this UDL principle.
What might “Multiple Means of Engagement” look like in the classroom?
This table provides some examples for implementing multiple means of engagement in a postsecondary classroom. Categories are listed on the left, with ideas for implementation on the right.
|Multiple Means of Engagement||Putting it into Practice|
|Variety in teaching and learning activities||
|Interaction with others||
|Use of technology||
|Student choice of course content||
|Self-regulation and motivation||
For more resources on how to provide multiple means of engagement, see the guidelines and checkpoints from CAST at: Principle: Provide multiple means of Engagement
What UDL strategies would you like to try when designing (or redesigning) your next course? Use the following questions for considering this first principle in more depth as it might apply to your course (and remember – start with just one small step!).
Questions for Considering Multiple Means of Engagement:
- How can you incorporate variety in your teaching approaches and student learning activities?
- How might you incorporate student interaction and collaboration into your course?
- How might technology be used to facilitate a diversity of engagement opportunities for learners?
- What opportunities exist to incorporate student choice in learning content?
- How can you encourage student self-regulation and personal coping skills?