Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles that can be incorporated into course design to create inclusive learning environments. UDL is not about accommodations nor changing course expectations and outcomes. Rather, UDL is a sustainable approach that reduces barriers in courses and often decreases the need for disability accommodations.

UDL is proactive, inclusive, flexible, and most importantly, a continual process. Consider flexibility in use to create opportunities for students to participate in class-related activities and assignments. UDL positively impacts:

  • Mobile device users
  • English as another language (EAL) students
  • Remote learners
  • Students who are parents or caregivers
  • Students living in rural areas or without good Internet provider services

UDL Principles

Everyone is different in how we engage with learning, make sense of information, and show our understanding and knowledge.

Guiding principles include multiple means of

  • Engagement (the “why” of learning)
    • Focus on essential course elements
    • Establish clear expectations and learning objectives
  • Representation (the “what” of learning)
    • Design activities specific to the learning objectives
    • Encourage self-directed learning and active learning
  • Action and expression (the “how” of learning)
    • Provide information using multiple methods
    • Incorporate diverse assessment strategies
    • Build in opportunities for feedback

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