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UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Research Evidence

Checkpoint 3.2: Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships

I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation



Learning can be cognitively inaccessible when it requires the ability to select and prioritize among many elements or sources, and where there are no options for individuals who differ in that capability.  One of the most effective ways to make information more accessible is to provide explicit cues or prompts that assist individuals in attending to those features that matter most while avoiding those that matter least. The experimental and quantitative evidence listed here reveals the effectiveness of strategies such as the use of graphic organizers, advanced organizers, multiple analogies and examples, and study guides to emphasize key ideas and relationships. The scholarly reviews and expert opinions provide a more classroom based perspective on the effectiveness of highlighting critical features, big ideas, and relationships. 

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Experimental and Quantitative Evidence:

Bulgren, J. A., Deshler, D. D., Schumaker, J. B., & Lenz, B. K. (2000). The use and effectiveness of analogical instruction in diverse secondary content classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(3), 426-441.

Bulgren, J. A., Lenz, B. K., Schumaker, J. B., Deshler, D. D., & Marquis, J. G. (2002). The use and effectiveness of a comparison routine in diverse secondary content classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(2), 356-371.

Bulgren, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1988). Effectiveness of a concept teaching routine in enhancing the performance of LD students in secondary-level mainstream classes. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 11(1), 3-17.

Dyck, N., & Sunbye, N. (1988). The effects of text explicitness on story understanding and recall by learning disabled children. LD Research, 3(2), 68-77.

Gardill, M. C., & Jitendra, A. K. (1999). Advanced story map instruction: Effects on the reading comprehension of students with learning disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 33(1), 2-17.

Glick, M. L., & Holyoak, K. J. (1980). Analogical problem solving. Cognitive Psychology, 12(3), 306-355.

Hamilton, S. L., Seibert, M. A., Gardner III, R., & Talbert-Johnson, C. (2000). Using guided notes to improve the academic achievement of incarcerated adolescents with learning and behavior problems. Remedial and Special Education, 21(3), 133-140.

Horton, S. V., Lovitt, T. C., Givens, A., & Nelson, R. (1989). Teaching social studies to high school students with academic handicaps in a mainstreamed setting: Effects of a computerized study guide. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22(2), 102-107.

MacArthur, C. A., & Haynes, J. B. (1995). Student assistant for learning from text(SALT): A hypermedia reading aid. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28(3), 150-159.

Mayer, R. E., Heiser, J., & Lonn, S. (2001). Cognitive constraints on multimedia learning: When presenting more material results in less understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 187-198.

Novak, J. D. (1990). Concept maps and vee diagrams: Two metacognitive tools to facilitate meaningful learning. Instructional Science, 19(1), 29-52.

Pollock, E., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2002). Assimilating complex information. Learning and Instruction, 12(1), 61-86.

Scholarly reviews and expert opinions:

Bulgren, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1998). The concept mastery routine. Lawrence, Kansas: Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Bulgren, J. A., Lenz, K. B., Deshler, D. D., & Shumaker, J. B. (1995). The concept comparison routine. Lawrence, Kansas: Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Burke, M. D., Hagan, S. L., & Grossen, B. (1998). What curricular designs and strategies accommodate diverse learners? Teaching Exceptional Children, 31(2), 34-38.

Ellis, E., Farmer, T., & Newman, J. (2005). Big ideas about teaching big ideas. Teaching Exceptional Children, 38(1), 34-40.

Goldman, S. R. (1997). Learning from text: Reflections on the past and suggestions for the future. Discourse Processes, 23, 357-398.

Grossen, B., Caros, J., Carnine, D., Davis, B., Deshler, D., Schumaker, J., et al. (2002). BIG ideas (plus a little effort) produce big results. Teaching Exceptional Children, 34(4), 70-73.

Gyselinck, V., & Tardieu, H. (1999). The role of illustrations in text comprehension: What, when, for whom, and why. In H. Van Oostendorp & S. R. Goldman (Eds.), The construction of mental representations during reading (pp. 195–218). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hall, T. (2002). Explicit instruction. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved on June 12, 2009, from

Kameenui, E. J., & Carnine, D. W. (1998). Effective teaching strategies that accommodate diverse learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Lenz, K. B., Bulgren, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., Deshler, D. D., & Boudah, D. A. (1994). The unit organizer routine. Lawrence, Kansas: Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Lenz, K. B., Schumaker, J. B., Deshler, D. D., & Bulgren, J. A. (1998). The course organizer routine. Lawrence, Kansas: Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Last Updated: 02/01/2011

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