Universal Design for Learning

What Is Universal Design and Who Is It For?

According to CAST.org, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) “guides the design of instructional goals, assessments, methods, and material that can be customized and adjusted to meet individual needs.” Employing Universal Design principles and practices simply means to design a course and its materials to be all-inclusive and therefore Accessible, or ADA compliant. Learn more.


Universal Design Practices You May Already Be Using

Have you ever used a chart, graph, or video to supplement your lecture? Have you ever included a transcript of a recording or a written summary of a presentation? Have you ever provided a “to-do” list to help keep students on task? If so, you are already employing UDL principles in your teaching!

Three images of the human brain, color coding where different types of learning effect the human brain. Green highlights the central portion of the brain during the Why of learning, or during Engagement. Purple highlights posterior portion of the brain during the What of learning, or Representation. Blue highlights the anterior portion of the brain during the How of learning, or Action and Expression.

Key Questions to Consider When Planning Lessons

Think About How Learners Will Engage with the Lesson:

  1. Does the lesson provide options that can help all learners regulate their own learning?
  2. Does the lesson provide options that help all learners sustain effort and motivation?
  3. Does the lesson provide options that engage and interest all learners?

Think About How Information is Presented to Learners:

  1. Does the information provide options that help all learners reach higher levels of comprehension and understanding?
  2. Does the information provide options that help all learners understand the symbols and expressions?
  3. Does the information provide options that help all learners perceive what needs to be learned?

Think About How Learners are Expected to Act Strategically and Express Themselves:

  1. Does the activity provide options that help all students act strategically?
  2. Does the activity provide options that help all learners express themselves fluently?
  3. Does the activity provide options that help all learners physically respond?

Free CAST.org UDL Resouces & Tips

Read More About UDL

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