Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
A framework for designing curriculum to create effective learning opportunities for every student, regardless of learning differences. UDL consists of three main principles:
Representation: How is the information presented to the students?
- Information should be presented in multiple ways such as video, audio, text, or images.
- Example: When teaching about disability disclosure, provide students with a written script and also show them a video of someone demonstrating disability disclosure
Action and Expression: How will the students demonstrate what they are learning?
- Students should be given the option to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways such as writing a summary, making a PowerPoint, drawing a picture, or creating a video.
- Example: When teaching about job interview skills, give the students the option of demonstrating how to answer interview questions appropriately by writing their answers, creating a slideshow of their answers, or making a video of themselves answering interview questions.
Engagement: How are you maintaining each student’s engagement in your lessons?
- Students will be more engaged and motivated to participate when lessons and learning activities incorporate their interests.
- Example: If your students are working on how to fill out job applications, let each student pick a specific job that they are interested in when they are completing this assignment.
Below is a table that gives examples of how to implement UDL in the classroom. For each student vignette and lesson, examples of representation, action and expression, and engagement are given.
|Student and Lesson||Representation||Action and Expression||Engagement|
|· Haley is a visual learner. She learns best through pictures and videos. For projects, Haley prefers to make creative videos with her friends where she acts out what she learns.
· Lesson: “How to communicate professionally in the workplace”
|· Haley’s provider shows videos on how to communicate effectively
· Her provider also shows images of proper nonverbal communication
|· Haley decides to get together with her friends to complete the project
· They decide to create a video about professional communication
|· Haley wants to work as a Veterinarian Assistant
· She decided to make her project about what professional communication looks like at her local Animal Hospital
|· Nathan learns best through reading and writing. When given a project or assignment, Nathan prefers to work alone and write a paper about what he learns.
· Lesson: “What are the different types of postsecondary education?”
|· Nathan’s provider gives him the option of reading articles about different types of postsecondary education
· His provider also shared links to all of the college programs in the state.
|· Nathan decides to work by himself on the project
· He also decides that he prefers to write a paper
|· Nathan wants to apply to an inclusive higher education program
· He decides to research and write about all of the inclusive higher education programs in the state