Universal Design for Learning

The term Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.

The definition of Universal Design for Learning is it: (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
(B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and  challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities.

Universal Design for Learning is it: (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities.

The three primary principles include:

UDL Graphic with Engagement, Representation, and Action & Expression

Principle 1: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement (the “why” of learning)

  • Stimulate interest and motivation for learning
  • “why” students should learn, care, and feel it’s important
  • Affective Networks

Principle 2: Provide Multiple Means of Representation (the “what” of learning)

  • Present information and content in different ways
  • “what” students do to learn
  • Recognition Networks

Principle 3: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression (the “how” of learning)

  • Provide different ways students can express what they know
  • “how” students express and demonstrate what they have learned
  • Strategic Networks

 


Definition of UDL in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008

 Original text on UDL by CAST is licensed CC BY SA

Image “Universal Design for Learning” by CAST is licensed CC BY SA

Video “UDL at a glance” by CAST is licensed CC BY SA