Date
19 February 2019

The recognition network and making sense of information

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Provide access to information, support understanding’

Understand the recognition network

Understand the recognition network

An introduction to how we perceive and make sense of information in different ways.

Implications of variability

Implications of variability

When we present information in only one way, we create barriers for students and limit learning opportunities.

No single medium works for every learner, nor does it for every subject....To promote understanding of information, concepts, relationships, and ideas, it is critical to provide multiple ways for learners to approach them.

David Rose

Guidelines to help us plan for variability

Guidelines to help us plan for variability

From the neuroscience, we know that variability across the recognition networks is predictable.

The three representation guidelines help us ensure all learners are able to access information and build new understandings.

Guidelines Purpose
Provide options for perception Interact with flexible content that doesn't depend on a single sense like sight, hearing, movement, or touch
Provide options for language and symbols Communicate through languages that create a shared understanding
Provide options for comprehension Construct meaning and generate new understandings

Potential barriers

Potential barriers

The presentation of information can impact access, participation, and engagement.

Potential barriers for students could be:

  • decoding text
  • information presented in one format
  • materials that are unable to be adjusted, personalised, or customised for learner preference
  • unfamiliar vocabulary
  • text not in first language
  • unfamiliar or complicated language
  • unfamiliar symbols and new concepts
  • little background knowledge to build upon
  • materials are only available online
  • low vision
  • physically accessing materials, for example, turning pages, navigating digital content
  • delivery method – for example whole class, small group.

Source: Design and deliver (opens in a new tab/window)

Summary

Summary

Present information and materials in different ways to ensure all students’ recognition networks are activated.

Ask students what helps. Refine as needed.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Multiple means of representation – Professional development resource

Publisher: The Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC)

Visit website

Website

Do’s and don’ts on designing for accessibility

Read time: 34 min

Publisher: United Kingdom Government

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Provide access to information, support understanding”:

Return to the guide “Universal Design for Learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Universal Design for Learning

Strategies for action:

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