4.1 Module 4 Overview


Look into any classrooms, and you are likely to see a diverse group of students who come from different cultural and experiential backgrounds, who speak languages other than English, and who vary greatly in their learning strengths and challenges.  In some cases, diversity is not evident on the surface—perhaps everyone looks similar or wears clothing that is consistent with a particular age group or culture.  But, as you work with students, you can’t help notice that some have strengths in one academic area, whereas other struggle in another.  Some breeze through tasks, asking for more, while some seem to need more help and guidance.  Some are highly motivated, whereas others refuse to complete an assignment given their history of failure.  As a teacher, how do you meet the needs of all these students, while helping everyone meet high expectations for skill and content mastery?

In truth, all students have varied needs and preferences—whether they are your highest achievers or your most challenging learners.  This module will offer you ideas that can benefit all students, but will focus on those students who struggle in school.  It’s important to keep in mind that the instructional practices and tools we use for students with learning difficulties and disabilities can often be used to improve the achievement and motivation of all learners in your classroom.  

In this module, you will have a chance to reflect on the extent of learner diversity in the classroom and explore the myth of the “average learner”. You'll learn about proactive instructional design, Universal Design for Learning, and how it can provide learning opportunities while eliminating learning barriers. You'll also learn about the role of supportive technology in UDL and have an opportunity to explore specific supportive technology examples. You'll learn more about Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM), legal mandates for their provision, and where and how to obtain AIM. Finally, you'll have a chance to explore the challenges inherent in high stakes assessment for diverse learners.



  • Prepare educators to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment where all students successfully participate and learn.
  • Recognize and respect learner diversity.
  • Understand the need to proactively design instructional opportunities to eliminate barriers and include curriculum enablers that support students in the margins.
  • Recognize the power of flexible, supportive technology and its value when creating inclusive learning opportunities.
  • Design learning activities that meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • Understand the implications of technology supports on high stakes testing for students in the margins.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, the educator will be able to:

  • Describe of the concept of learner variability and its impact on designing and implementing successful learning opportunities.
  • Make connections between student's varying learning needs and proactive lesson design.
  • Select appropriate support technology for a focal student.
  • Develop a instructional plan for a diverse learner.
  • Find resources/technology tools to support struggling students.
  • Choose appropriate supportive technology to meet learning needs.
  • Apply the principles of Universal Design for Learning to a lesson.

Module Outcome

Participants will take a lesson and analyze for learning barriers and supports, then modify the lesson to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Digital Portfolio - Module 4

To support your learning in this module, you will be updating your Digital Portfolio with Module4 content. You will re-submit the link to your Digital Portfolio at the end of this module.

As a reminder, log into your Google Drive to access your Digital Portfolio

This module will take approximately 3 hours to complete

You are now ready to move on to: 4.2 Recognizing Learner Diversity

Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2014, 5:41 AM