UDL checkpoint 3.4 stresses the importance of students being able to transfer their learning to new contexts. Every educators has had a student who is “book smart” - they do well on tests and seem to have a strong understanding of the material. That is, until they have to apply it to a real life situation. As we know, real-world scenarios can be full of ambiguity and uncertainty. We may be able to perform a task and have the same outcome 100 times, but all of a sudden, that next time, everything changes. Students need to be able to use critical thinking skills both in their academic programs and once they move into their career.
I remember a drawing class for my Interior Design program during my first year of college. I was not a good artist at all (which is why I chose Interior Design instead of fine arts). And although I tried my best and kept practicing and practicing, I struggled to draw human structures. Hands, eyes, noses; I couldn’t draw them well, But I did improve by the end of the semester. Unfortunately, the professor didn’t grade on improvement, he graded by comparison. Specifically, he the final drawings for the class and put them next to each other. The best ones got an A and the worst a D. I ended up with a D in that class. I was a 3.8 GPA student before that D. Needless to say, I was devastated and ended up leaving that college (fortunately I did find my calling!).