Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a curriculum development approach that aims to give all students an equal opportunity to learn.

The following video was created by CAST, a nonprofit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. It focuses on the K-12 classroom, but is applicable to any learning environment.

UDL at a Glance © CAST, 2015

Applying the Principles of UDL

The following checklist is adapted from EnACT* and provides guidelines for how you can apply the principles of UDL.

Include the following elements in your course:

  • Information in the syllabus that specifies campus-based student support services, including disability support services.
  • A comprehensive syllabus that clearly specifies all course requirements, course expectations, and due dates.
  • Multiple methods of ways students can contact you with questions or concerns.
  • Multiple methods of expressing course content using different modes (visual, graphic, verbal, auditory, and so forth.) so students have varied ways to access the course content.
  • Varied instructional methods to involve students in the learning process (lecture, small group work, online assignments, class discussion, and so forth).
  • Encouragement of natural support systems (partner work, study groups, and so forth) in and outside of class.
  • Accessible course content and materials (accessible websites, captioned videos, and so forth).
  • Examples and/or illustrations of all major course assignments or activities.
  • Alternatives for students on how they can participate or complete all major course assignments or activities.
  • Clear and specific feedback on assignments and re-submission of assignments as appropriate.
  • Clear guidelines and/or evaluation rubrics for all major course assignments or activities.
  • All students to demonstrate their knowledge of subject matter through a variety of means (oral presentation, written report, and so forth).
  • Encouragement of the use of assistive, adaptive, or other technologies to ensure that students can accurately express what they know.

* For more information, visit the 14 Common Elements of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the College Classroom checklist created through the EnACT Grant and licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0