What is UDL?

UDL is an educational framework and set of principles that maximizes learning opportunities for all learners. It is based on three main principles. Each principle has a set of detailed guidelines which provide an evidence-based approach to understanding how we can improve learning through tools and resources. Each principle is aimed at helping educators improve how we present information, engage students, and create inclusive assessments and evaluations.

UDL principles can be applied to the overall design of a course as well as to the specific instructional materials and strategies such as lectures, learning activities, learning resources, discussions, group work, handouts, on-line instruction, labs, field work, and demonstrations.

Universally designed curriculum provides students with multiple or flexible ways of viewing or listening to information (representation), expression, and engagement and makes a classroom more inclusive. Universally Designed curriculum reduces the need for special accommodation for students with disabilities.

Why is UDL important?

As educators we are often challenged to design and deliver curriculum for an increasingly diverse student population. Each student learns differently and can benefit from having a variety of learning formats to choose from, flexible assessments, and tools to help with organization of new information and skills. UDL provides us with a variety of strategies and resources to help meet diverse learning needs, improve accessibility to learning opportunities, and increase student success.

Number 1 Principle

Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation

Present information and content in different ways

Number 2 Principle

Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know

Number 3 Principle

Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

Stimulate interest and motivation for learning

Visit the National Centre on Universal Design for Learning website to learn more about UDL principles and to see a wide range of resources and examples.

To learn more about the guidelines or to see summaries with links to samples and resources, we recommend the following:

Contact one of the specialists at the C.A.F.E. to find out more information and learn how to use UDL in your courses and program.