Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design

The term “universal design” means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly usable (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are made usable with assistive technologies. (U.S.C. § 3002)

Principles of Universal Design [by NCSU Center for Universal Design]
UDL has origins in Universal Design, designing for a barrier-free environment.

What is Universal Design for Learning?

  • Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
  • UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. (www.cast.org/udl/index.html)
  • UDL is not scientifically research based instruction, as UDL just provides guidelines for the development of instruction. Some methods, web sites or tools that are provided as examples are research based (i.e., word prediction, voice recognition)

Universal Design for Learning calls for ...
  • Multiple means of representation (to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge). WHAT?
  • Multiple means of expression (to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know). HOW?
  • Multiple means of engagement (to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation). WHY?

What is the Goal of UDL?

  • To remove barriers to learning
  • To have learning designed to meet the needs of the widest range of diverse individuals.
  • To provide supports where they are needed
  • To engage every student in a successful learning experience. (udl.spps.org/)

Why is UDL necessary?

  • Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. By nature, we as individuals are diverse! (www.cast.org/udl/index.html)

How can the Internet and multimedia be used to individualize learning for students with varied backgrounds, learning styles, abilities and disabilities?

  • The flexibility of digital media and the varied resources available on the World Wide Web provide great opportunity for individualization. However, care must be taken to structure any learning experience so that the focus remains on the particular goal at hand. This requires preparation and careful consideration of each learner's needs and skills. (Q7) (www.cast.org/udl/faq/index.html)

Guiding principles for use of technology:

  • Universal design for learning can add functionality to the practice of "response to intervention." Free technology can be integrated into all classrooms thereby providing universal interventions or precautions for all students, without the cost of expensive programs.

CAST(www.cast.org) Research, papers, UDL tools and software
UDL Modules udlonline.cast.org/home Two modules with examples of UDL in the classroom
National Center on UDL www.udlcenter.org/ Description of the UDL guidelines and ways to put it into practice.
NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) nimas.cast.org/index
Bookshare bookshare.org accessible books for individuals with print disabilities
AIM - National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials aim.cast.org
UDL Guidelines Examples sites.google.com/site/udlguidelinesexamples/home

UDL in Action - Examples of how to build and use UDL lessons and curriculum

UDL Lesson Builder lessonbuilder.cast.org/
UDL Editions udleditions.cast.org/ Applications of UDL in Reading - multiple supports for presentation, engagement, & expression.
BookBuilder bookbuilder.cast.org/ Create your own books with support and audio
Science Writer sciencewriter.cast.org/welcome Helping students create reports in science
Strategy Tutor cst.cast.org/cst/auth-login Step by step approach to researching a topic and writing a report

Important Links for UDL udltechnology.wikispaces.com/Links