UDL Spotlight

Archive for June, 2009

BabyCenter: Helping Parents the UDL-Way

Posted by udlspotlight on June 10, 2009

“For me becoming a parent was simultaneously the hardest and best thing I have ever done. I have my doctoral degree in child development and, as a result, I thought I had all the tools I would need to be a great parent – I was completely wrong! I needed all the help and support I could get. I nominated BabyCenter for the UDL Spotlight because many of the website’s features exemplify CAST’s UDL Guidelines…”  Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann, CAST Research Scientist

BabyCenter is an interactive website and support network for parents and parents-to-be that exemplifies many of the UDL Guidelines. It’s a great example of what we mean by “provide multiple means of representation.” Watch the video below and see if you can find examples of how the BabyCenter website designers are giving us lots of options for how to access and take-in the content. Similarly, the designers have given us many ways to interact with information that’s personally relevant, following the UDL principle, “provide multiple means of engagement.”

As you watch the video and explore the website, think about all the different ways we have to engage with the content. What do you personally find most engaging and relevant about the website? Are there lessons to be learned here that could apply in the classroom or to curriculum design?

Watch the UDL tour of the BabyCenter website

Explore how the BabyCenter aligns with the UDL Guidelines

Access the complete version of the UDL Guidelines: Version 1.0

Multiple Means of Representation Multiple Means of Action and Expression
Checkpoint 3: Provide options for comprehension.

Parents can…
– choose how to access the resources (peruse the site or receive timely emails targeted to their own children’s development)

– choose from multiple media forms (text-based articles, video diaries with transcripts, message boards, expert answers) 

Checkpoint 5: Provide options for expressive skills and fluency.

Parents can post to message boards, ask questions of experts, and comment on stories. From a UDL perspective, the site would be greatly enhanced if it had tools that support goal-setting, monitoring progress, etc. (e.g., tools to track sleep patterns, eating habits and so forth).

Guideline 7:  Provide options for recruiting interest.

 Information can be customized to your own family. The site also does an excellent job of getting the level of challenge right – parents with very little experience as well as those with deep background knowledge will find the site engaging and useful.

UDL is all about creating options for learners and we congratulate the BabyCenter website team for giving us well thought-out options for interacting with their materials and collaborating with others. Go BabyCenter!

We want to hear from you

Is this post a helpful way to better understand the UDL Guidelines? Do you know of a great tool with UDL features or someone who is practicing UDL in their classroom that we should know about? Let us know. We want to hear from you!


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