Universal Design for Learning

8527950743_19d1187880_zUDL Principles

  1. Provide multiple means of representation
  2. Provide multiple means of action and expression
  3. Provide multiple means of engagement
Brain Network Question Solution
Recognition The what of learning.

How do we gather information?

Present information in multiple ways.
Strategic The how of learning.

How do we express our ideas?

Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know.
Affective The why of learning.

How do we motivate learners?

Find a way to connect with student interests. Provide multiple methods of engaging with the material.


UDL Guidelines Graphic Organizer
The UDL Guidelines are a set of suggestions that can be applied to reduce barriers and maximize learning opportunities for all learners. They can be mixed and matched according to specific learning goals and can be applied to particular content areas and contexts.

UDL Studio
Allows anyone to make universally designed educational materials with levels of learning supports.

UDL Curriculum Toolkit
Empowers curriculum developers and researchers author and publish educational materials that are flexible and responsive to the needs of all learners.

Course Design – UDL on Campus
Resources for instructors to plan and design their curriculum in ways that reduce barriers to learning and facilitate meaningful participation by all students.

Thought Exercise

adapted from Tobin & Behling, 2018

Take a minute and, thinking about one of your own courses or student interactions, note your responses to the following questions:

  • What elements in your course or interaction rely on single-stream materials (i.e., content provided in only one format)?
  • What assessments in your course or interaction require learners to demonstrate their skill in only one format?
  • What are the points in your course or interaction where students always have difficulty with the same concepts or ideas, every time you teach the course or have the interaction?

Teaching & Learning Resources

CAST Professional Learning Free UDL Resources & Tips http://castprofessionallearning.org/free-udl-resources-and-tips/

CAST Professional Learning is committed to providing free UDL resources for educators, administrators, designers, parents and anyone and everyone who is passionate about UDL.

Do-It: Applications of Universal Design in Postsecondary Education – www.washington.edu/doit/programs/center-universal-design-education/applications-universal-design-postsecondary-education

Applying universal design within the postsecondary setting ensures that all students and teachers, including those with disabilities, can fully participate in all educational offerings.

Equal Access: Universal Design of Distance Learning Programs – www.washington.edu/doit/sites/default/files/atoms/files/EA_Distance_Learning.pdf

A checklist for making distance learning programs welcoming and accessible to all students by Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

UDL ON CAMPUS: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education – http://udloncampus.cast.org/home

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and how it applies to higher education learning environments and additional resources for deeper understanding including practical information about getting started, examples of courses and programs that use UDL to improve student success and links to colleges and universities with UDL initiatives.

Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice – http://udltheorypractice.cast.org/home?1

The free online version of Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice by Meyer, Rose, & Gordon has specific sections relevant to UDL implementation in higher ed.

Learn More

Burgstahler, Sheryl, ed. 2015. Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice. Second. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press.

Hall, Tracey E, Anne Meyer, and David H Rose. 2012. Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom: Practical Applications. What Works for Special-Needs Learners. New York: Guilford Publications.

Meyer, Anne, David H Rose, and David T Gordon. 2014. Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing

Tobin, Thomas J., and Kirsten T. Behling. 2018. Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone. Morgantown: West Virginia Press.

Public domain image “Universal Design for Learning” by Giulia Forsythe