Universal Design for Learning

What is it?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences, including cognitive neuroscience that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences.

Researchers determined that when principles of universal design were applied to the learning environment, it improved opportunities for learning for all students. When UDL principles are incorporated into the course during its design and development, they lay the foundation with learning outcomes, activities, assessments, and teaching methods that improve accessibility for all learners (Rose & Meyer, 2002). A course designed using UDL principles is more flexible and student-centred, enabling the students to make choices or be more involved in the learning process by providing multiple ways to access content and express their learning.

Creating accessible documents helps all learners by ensuring that they are able to read, hear, and see all the information included inĀ a presentation or document. Creating accessible documents includes using color contrast appropriately, sans serif fonts such as Verdana and Arial, clear language principles, alternate formats, and other methods.

What are the UDL principles?

Principle 1: Providing Multiple Means of Representation (the “what” of learning).Ā Learners differ in the ways that they perceive and comprehend information that is presented to them.

Principle 2:Ā Providing Multiple Means of Action and Expression (the “how” of learning). Learners differĀ in the ways that they can navigate a learning environment and express what they know.

Principle 3:Ā Providing Multiple Means of Engagement (the “why” of learning). Learners differ in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn.

What are the benefits of creating Accessible documents?

Creating Accessible documents meets Principle 1: Multiple Means of Representation. It helps make documents easier to read, view, or listen to (using assistive technology). Creating accessible documents help everyone, not just those with vision, hearing or auditory disabilities. They help make your information more clear, readable, and engaging!