Options and Alternatives

⏱ 10-15 minute read, video, and Padlet activity

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about providing Options and Alternatives in Learning Experience Design:

* soft, subtle music plays *

With Options and Alternatives, the learning experience becomes flexible enough to accommodate our diverse learners.

We already know that they are different in many ways— beliefs, backgrounds, brains. And these differences could lead to different barriers when learning.

This phase is not simply creating separate routes for each kind of learner.

It’s more like providing multiple possibilities, and guiding them to choose the best options for them. In a way, they also become our co-designers!

This phase is inspired by Universal Design for Learning or UDL, a framework that minimizes barriers to maximize learning for everyone.

We can create options and alternatives for our learners in three ways

1 – We can design different ways to present information.
This can look like putting captions and transcripts on videos, using both words and symbols in print materials, or maximizing technology to enable language options.

2- We can also design different ways to engage our learners.
Here are some ideas: help learners connect the outcomes to their motivations, create checklists so they can manage their work, or provide opportunities to collaborate with peers.

3 – We can design opportunities for learners to express themselves in different ways.
We can give options on their output: they can write an essay or record a presentation. We can also give alternatives to traditional written assessments, such as performance tasks or portfolios.

So, where do we begin?

We recommend reviewing insights about our learners’ Starting Context, and consider extreme cases.

Because when we come up with Options and Alternatives for everyone, we are able to create an experience where every learner feels included and valued.

How inclusive and accessible do you think education is right now? What do you think about UDL? What tools or platforms are available for us to make learning more inclusive and accessible?

Share your thoughts on the Padlet board below. You can also post questions and thoughts and start a discussion!

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If you want to learn more about UDL, here are some links to additional resources:

Options and Alternatives – Habi Plus