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Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

According to researchers at the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, Universal design is defined as, “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for special accommodations.”

Universal Design for Learning or UDL can ensure equal access to the educational environment for all learners.  It celebrates human differences and promotes an inclusion based approach to our culture; research shows that this approach helps increase GPA and retention for all students.  UDL minimizes the differences in the student community.

UDL key elements include:  Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Environment.

  • Curriculum is determined by what the professor wants the student to learn.
  • Instruction incorporates multiple methods of presentation.
  • Assessment is done through evaluating what strategies are working and what needs to be changed.
  • Environment refers to a space conducive to all learners.

Vital to the UDL instruction element is its insistence on multiple forms of presentation – visual, oral, and textual.  Providing information in a variety of modalities can help you reach a wider and more diverse audience.

UDL Resources