Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of curriculum design and delivery principles aimed at creating an inclusive and accessible learning experience for students.
It is considered a best practice approach and is achieved through the development of flexible curricular materials and activities.
Why is UDL important?
As educators we are often challenged to design and deliver curriculum for an increasingly diverse student population. We recognize each student learns differently therefore, each student can benefit from having a variety of learning formats to choose from, flexible assessments, and tools to assist with organization of new information and skills.
The UDL Principles
- Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation
- Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
- Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
These 3 principles are from the Center on Applied Special Technology (CAST), first defined the UDL framework in the 1990’s. The framework calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:
- Multiple means of representation to give leaners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
- Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.
- Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know.
[The information below was taken from an existing GBC webpage on AODA Teaching and Learning found here (do not scrap existing webpage until contents replicated): http://www.georgebrown.ca/aoda/resources/teaching_and_learning.aspx ]
The CAST website has multiple resources that can be accessed by faculty.
George Brown’s Library Learning Commons ensures that all media newly acquired by the Library is either captioned or they obtained permission to caption. For more information on Captioned Media & E-Text, please review their webpage.
The College has a Captioned Media and E-text Policy, which stipulates that all media produced or purchased for instructional, informational or marketing purposes must be captioned or permission to caption must be granted as a condition of purchase. Divisions must allocate a budget for making resources accessible, such as captioning audio-visual media.
George Brown College’s AODA Customer Service Standard Policy Statement.
Durham College has also created some very good resources to support faculty and staff in understanding UDL and in incorporating UDL principles.
Universal Design Learning Universe supports the UDL framework by providing resources to post-secondary faculty and staff.
Comprehensive Universal Design for Learning Faculty Development Guide
The University of Guelph provides some useful quick start http://www.coles.uoguelph.ca/ checklists and tip sheets for incorporating UDL into your teaching practices. This project was funded through the Learning Opportunities Task Force, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
The Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT Center), at the University of Washington provides an abundance of resources to support the implementation of UDL.
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides an overview of UDL and several resources directed to postsecondary education.
The Access Project at the Colorado State University offers resources to UDL as well as some Disability Modules that provide faculty and staff with an awareness of various types of disabilities.
The University of Ottawa released a guide for Professors: Minimizing the Impact of Learning Obstacles.