ACR GCD showcases use of EdTech to monitor and coach for integration of UDL in reading programs at CIES 2022

The panel was one of two hosted by ACR GCD focusing on children with disabilities

ACR GCD showcases use of EdTech to monitor and coach for integration of UDL in reading programs at CIES 2022

As the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 calls for inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030, more must be done to ensure learning environments are designed to be accessible and accommodate learning differences. Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework developed by CAST to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people, is critical to advancing an educational future for all.

To showcase efforts to that end, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) convened a virtual panel on April 22 at  CIES 2022 showcasing a recent unique collaboration between World Vision International (WVI) and CAST to reimagine their existing literacy programs through a UDL lens, with a particular focus on monitoring and coaching for teachers at school and parents at home. WVI and CAST engaged ACR GCD to determine how this framework could be shared to benefit others, including ACR GCD awardees. Panelists included Allison Posey from CAST, Alodia Santos from WVI, Shelly Hartman Sunyak, from the ACR GCD, and Dr Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, from USAID.

During the panel, panelists shared how CAST, WVI and ACR GCD married CAST’s UDL Guidelines with existing classroom and home visit observation tools to include UDL Principles (Engagement, Representation, and Action & Expression) to enhance the five core reading skills. The tools, embedded in World Vision’s Measuring Evidence of Quality Achieved (MEQA) app, analyze how the goals, assessments, methods, and materials used in reading programs are designed to be more inclusive of all students’ reading skills. Bridging from simply training teachers and program staff on UDL Guidelines, this tool extends UDL into routine observation, monitoring and coaching to improve quality reading instruction and support for all children. The tool also recognizes the progression in inclusive practices by teachers and parents, from beginner to emerging to proficient. 

The MEQA app, a digital e-monitoring and coaching tool that was originally designed for World Vision’s field office staff to observe and measure the quality of implementation of education early grade reading programs, was enhanced to embed UDL. MEQA provides digitized survey and observation forms, instant individualized coaching points, and online dashboards to inform training based on outcome indicators.

The MEQA+UDL tool is currently being reviewed and tested by World Vision Field Offices and ACR GCD alumni and awardees. Watch this space to learn more as testing and results develop.

A graphic representing the guidelines for UDL

Universal Design for Learning Guidelines (CAST)