A Successful Book Study!

Jenning Prevatte, M. Ed.

I had an amazing opportunity to facilitate a summer book study this summer. During our month-long community of practice, participants engaged in a dynamic discussion on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) concepts from the book UDL Now! A Teacher's Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning by Katie Novak. During our weekly synchronized meetings, we contextualize UDL for Higher Education.

Our learning objectives for this community of practice were:

We read two chapters a week to accomplish these objectives to prepare for our synchronized meeting, where we discussed "essential questions." Essential questions are open-ended guiding questions that provoke reflection on our learning or teaching practice. As the facilitator, I also highlighted a quote from each chapter to spark our discussions.

Here are the quotes from the book that I felt empowered our conversations, along with the essential questions I created to guide our discussions:

Essential Question: How will our community support our work?

Essential Question: How do we achieve this?

Essential Question: What transitions are you making in your teaching philosophy?

Essential Question: What strategies can we use to engage learners and create UDL partners?

Essential Question: How do we achieve this?

Essential Question: How do we plan the curriculum and meet the needs of all learners?
(Contextualize "appropriate" to your specific educational level.)

Essential Question: How do we provide choice and voice in our classrooms?

Essential Question: What types of assessments are appropriate and in our control?
(Contextualize "assessment" to your specific educational level.)

A key aspect of engaging in a community of practice is to take action on what you've learned. Each participant was asked to create an action plan to implement the UDL Framework for their teaching practice.


My action plan for the fall semester is to better provide multiple means of engagement for my students. I want to empower my students to direct their learning by providing them with various tools that they can connect with and use. I like how Katie Novak models a way to do this in her emails. She organizes the information with something to read, something to watch, and something to hear. As a college professor, I feel that following this model in my LMS would engage my students and empower them to connect with the content in a way that best suits their learning needs.


I had a fantastic time learning with my colleagues in this community of practice. If you are engaging in a book study, a community of practice, or a Professional Learning Community (PLC) this upcoming year, I highly recommend UDL Now! A Teacher's Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning by Katie Novak.

APA Citation:

Novak, K. (2022). UDL Now! A Teacher's Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning. CAST, Inc.

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