Focus: Inclusive Education (Programming for Student Success)

Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Presenter: David Rose

Learners differ in the ways that they can navigate a learning environment and express what they know. For example, individuals with significant movement impairments (e.g., cerebral palsy), those who struggle with strategic and organizational abilities (executive function disorders), those who have language barriers, and so forth approach learning tasks very differently. Some may be able to express themselves well in written text but not speech, and vice versa. It should also be recognized that action and expression require a great deal of strategy, practice, and organization, and this is another are in which learners can differ. In reality, there is not one means of action and expression that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for action and expression is essential. - National Center on Universal Design for Learning - Principle II

The videos and supporting resources on this page are from the Alberta UDL Summer Institute 2011 and relate to the principle of multiple means of engagement.

Multiple Means of Action and Expression – David Rose

More information is provided regarding which parts of the brain impact action and expression, including planning and executive function. David Rose further emphasizes the concept of “separating means from the end” by introducing Matthew who uses switches to act and express.

See slides 1-8 in PowerPoint (Multiple Means of Action and Expression Presentation).

Length: 18:42

Action and Expression - Making Music more Accessible – David Rose

David Rose walks participants through a TED talk video which demonstrates how music has been made accessible for a man with cerebral palsy, who composes and plays his own music using a switch.

View TedTalk video.

Length: 8:49

Action and Expression - Making Art more Accessible – David Rose

An analogy of how the brain is like a garden is shared. David Rose discusses how individual differences in the means expression exist and that we trade of one kind of skill for another. A video of an autistic man who takes one flight over Rome then is able to draw it with great accuracy to detail is shared.

View Youtube video: "Stephen Wiltshire “The Living Camera".

Length: 9:09

Note-Taking Example – David Rose

David Rose shares a successful strategy he uses with his students at Harvard using UDL principles. This is an excellent and humorous example of different note taking styles and how they illustrate diversity.

Length: 11:51

Assessment: A Balance between Ability and Challenge – David Rose

Grace Meo and David Rose discuss how to apply the UDL guidelines to assessment. David Rose discusses the concept of desirable and undesirable difficulties – what are the undesirable difficulties that interfere with measuring accurately. A math example is used to demonstrate this concept with the participants.

See PowerPoint (Multiple Means of Action and Expression – UDL Guidelines).

Length: 24:46

Music: An Alternate Form of Representation – David Rose

Examples from the TV show “Glee” and percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie are shared. David Rose discusses that we have to acknowledge the limitations of normal because “what we call normal, is just common.”

View percussionist video: "Dame Evelyn Glennie".

Length: 12:35

This resource was developed under the leadership of ERLC as a result of a grant from Alberta Education to support implementation.