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Universal Design for Learning (UDL): UDL Overview and Principles

Universal design for learning (UDL) is an innovative approach to teaching and learning that “designs to the edges.” No longer the average, but a tapestry woven into the uniqueness of the individual. Breaking free from the “myth of average,” standardized c

UDL Overview and Principles

Universal Design for Learning addresses barriers to learning by creating a framework of instruction that designs "to the edges." In this way, and by bridging average thinking, students are able to become active participants in the learning process. Universal design for learning eliminates one-dimensional thinking to embrace diversity and the uniqueness of each individual. More importantly, universal design for learning becomes a cross-dimensional, user-focused, structured, flexible, engaging, and authentic means to address learner "dis-ability and vari-ability." 

Principle I. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

  • Guideline 7: Provide options for recruiting interest
  • Guideline 8: Provide options for sustaining effort and persistence
  • Guideline 9: Provide options for self-regulation 

Principle II. Provide Multiple Means of Representation

  • Guideline 1: Provide options for perception
  • Guideline 2: Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols
  • Guideline 3: Provide options for comprehension

Principle III. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

  • Guideline 4: Provide options for physical action
  • Guideline 5: Provide options for expression and communication
  • Guideline 6: Provide options for executive functions​

Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education