Diverse Learners

Who are diverse learners?

Universal Design for Learning

Connecting Ohio's Learning Standards with instructional practices for all learners

Given the diversity of students in most classrooms today, teachers are challenged with ensuring that all students are able to access the content standards and demonstrate mastery of the skills and knowledge embedded in these standards. Many instructional methods and strategies are effective for a significant number of students in all classrooms and across all content areas but teachers are often faced with finding specific strategies that address the unique needs of the students enrolled in their classrooms. Universal Design for Learning provides a framework for locating these resources by organizing them under three major principles:

  • Multiple Means of Representation
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  • Multiple Means of Engagement

Although these resources can be used to support all students, Universal Design for Learning also offers strategies and resources appropriate for those students identified with very specific needs including student with disabilities, gifted students and English learners. View the printer-friendly version.

Instructional Resources

Find Ohio's Quality Review Rubrics, sample lesson plans and more for all diverse learners.

English Learners

Ohio’s English Learners (EL) represent a variety of home/native languages, cultural backgrounds and levels of English proficiency. They may be refugees, or U.S born, and they may have extensive formal school experiences or little/no prior schooling. Although ELs have limited English proficiency, their native/home language skills and cultural experiences can be useful assets in their learning process.

When teachers are aware of the background, needs and strengths of their students, and have an understanding of strategies and resources under the UDL framework, they can work together to help their ELs access Ohio’s revised standards.


Gifted Students

Ohio law establishes criteria for students to be identified as gifted in the areas of academic achievement, cognitive abilities, creative thinking and/or visual/performing arts.

Gifted students may be served in the regular classroom through differentiation and/or in classes with other gifted students taught by a gifted intervention specialist.
For gifted students, UDL helps to frame the differentiation that needs to take place in all academic settings in the area of the student’s identification.


Students with Disabilities

Students in Ohio can be identified with one of 13 different disability conditions. A significant amount of diversity, however, exists both within and between each of these disability categories.

Students with disabilities can achieve at high levels when provided with instructional supports and accommodations, and when educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent possible.

UDL enables teachers to plan instruction for a wide range of learners. For example, a teacher may customize the display of information for a student with a visual impairment, or allow a student with a specific disability to express knowledge through the use of multiple media.

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Last Modified: 7/13/2022 7:44:10 AM