HyperDocs and HyperSlides Create UDL Lesson Opportunities

By: Matt Rhoads, Ed.D

Dr. Matt Rhoads is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education – The Podcast.

Over the last few posts, we’ve covered how to create and utilize HyperDocs and HyperSlides. These integrations with these EdTech tools are game-changing as they provide a variety of instructional options ranging from student choice, personalized learning, and the Universal Design for Learning (UDL). We have already covered how they can be utilized for the purposes of implementing student choice and personalization. Now, we will focus on how they can be used to provide multiple modalities for students to receive information, engage in a task/assignment, and demonstrate their learning. This is the foundational instructional strategies and learning science that powers our use of HyperDocs and HyperSlides. 

Review HyperDocs and HyperSlides

Before jumping into discussing UDL, let’s review HyperDocs and HyperSlides. Generally, HyperDocs and Slides follow a lesson sequence where students analyze and process content and then synthesize the content they have analyzed and evaluated. The last step of this sequence is the opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning and by creating something that demonstrates that learning. Throughout this sequence, within the HyperDoc and Slide, various hyperlinks go to content they want students to analyze and assignments and tasks that ask students to synthesize and organize information and then create something that demonstrates what they’ve learned. 

A reminder before moving into UDL, HyperDocs and Slides are not just a document or slide with hyperlinks. See below that outlines these differences

HyperDocs/SlidesHyperlinks
Students Create to Demonstrate LearningStudents Can Collaborate While Interacting with the HyperSlides/DocsHyperDocs and Slides provide opportunities for synthesization and reflection for studentsStudents can connect what they’ve learned as well as extend their learning because activities can be embedded in HyperDocs/Slides to allow this to occur. There is no connection or extension to the lesson sequence. A link to a specific site without an opportunity for students to utilize its content. No opportunity for students to create something to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Students only consume information rather than processing, analyzing, and synthesizing. Used for navigation purposes only (helpful for navigational purposes, but not for integrating instructional strategies)

What is the Universal Design for Learning

According to CAST (2021), the Universal Design for Learning is a framework to help cultivate expert learners who are purposefully motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal directed. Additionally, by incorporating the UDL framework, we are providing access for all learners to participate in authentic, challenging, and meaningful opportunities to learn. 

The UDL framework has three major components along with three sub-components that go along with each of the three major components. Below is the UDL framework provided by CAST (2021).

CAST UDL Framework

When reviewing this framework, can you see how many of its major and sub-components may align to how we’ve been discussing HyperDocs and HyperSlides? If we look at the three major components of the framework, we can see how HyperDocs/Slides can provide multiple means of engagement, representation, and action and expression as they generally have multiple pieces of content that can be analyzed and evaluated followed by opportunities for students to create recognition networks of what they have analyzed by synthesizing that information and making it their own. Finally, they provide multiple means of action and expression by giving students a choice to demonstrate their learning through multiple means. Recall when we discussed how a number of choiceboard’s embedded in a HyperDoc/Slide gave students the opportunity to write an essay, record a podcast, create an infographic, or edit and record a video? This is a prime example of multiple means of representation in play. 

Example of a HyperDoc and HyperSlide that is UDL Friendly

Below are a number of examples of HyperDocs and HyperSlides that are UDL Friendly. Additionally, the examples provided in our previous blog posts 

How HyperDocs and HyperSlides Can Be Used Over and Over Again for UDL Friendly Lessons

As discussed throughout this blog post series, HyperDocs and HyperSlides can be easily changed and altered to meet future lessons. First, make a copy. Create the content (or reuse the templates for that content). Add the links. Revise the directions. Then, you are done! Once you begin using them on a regular basis, the lesson design and preparation go much quicker and become rather efficient. 

Conclusion – Now It’s Your Turn to Try Them!

HyperDocs and HyperSlides are amazing instructional tool that can help amplify student learning and make your lesson preparation more efficient. They also align with many of the components of the UDL framework. Therefore, it’s an instructional strategy that’s a win-win situation for teachers and students! I highly recommend trying it out! Also, below are some more excellent resources on HyperDocs and Slides for you to utilize.

Repositories of HyperDocs and Slides to Select and Modify for your Lessons

Published by Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D.

Innovator, EdTech Trainer and Leader, University Lecturer & Teacher Candidate Supervisor, Consultant, Author, and Podcaster

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