Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that fosters inclusive, equal opportunities for learning. It seeks to address the common barrier of “one-size-fits-all” environments and curricula in education. UDL is designed to create goals, methods, materials, and assessment that allow customizable education to adjust for individual needs. This customizable, flexible education is based on a foundation of three principles that allow educators to vary methods of teaching in ways that appeal to a multitude of learners, including those with sensory, learning, attention, and communication differences.
Three Principles of UDL
Provide Multiple Means of Representation (the “what” of learning)
Providing options for representations of material (e.g. visual and auditory) is essential to allow for all learners to adequately and accurately comprehend information. Individuals with sensory disabilities and learning disabilities are especially likely to benefit.
Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression (the “how” of learning)
Recognizing the strategy, practice, and organization that expressing knowledge requires is important for helping learners succeed. Therefore, providing options for expression (e.g. oral presentations and written assignments) is essential. Individuals with movement impairments, strategic and organizational disabilities, and language barriers are especially likely to benefit.
Provide Multiple Means of Engagement (the “why” of learning)
Providing options for student interest and motivation (e.g. culturally relevant projects and theoretical assignments) is invaluable. Individuals with varying cultural backgrounds, self-regulation abilities and persistence levels are especially likely to benefit.
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