Universal Design for LearningUniversal Design for Learning
Created by: Jonas MehallCreated by: Jonas Mehall
What is UDL?What is UDL?
According to the NationalAccording to the National
Universal Design forUniversal Design for
Learning Task Force,Learning Task Force,
UDL is a “framework forUDL is a “framework for
designing educationaldesigning educational
environments that enableenvironments that enable
all learners to gainall learners to gain
knowledge, skills, andknowledge, skills, and
enthusiasm for learning.”enthusiasm for learning.”
Goal of UDLGoal of UDL
The main goal of UDL is to break down barriersThe main goal of UDL is to break down barriers
to the curriculum and provideto the curriculum and provide ALLALL students withstudents with
a rich learning experience.a rich learning experience.
It is no secret students have diverse learningIt is no secret students have diverse learning
styles. Like it or not, students are who they are.styles. Like it or not, students are who they are.
Instead of trying to change there preferentialInstead of trying to change there preferential
learning styles, why not design the curriculum tolearning styles, why not design the curriculum to
fit everyone’s needs?fit everyone’s needs?
Origins of UDLOrigins of UDL
UDL stems from a movement called theUDL stems from a movement called the
universal design started in the early 1990’suniversal design started in the early 1990’s
where contractors began to build homes,where contractors began to build homes,
buildings, and other structures so they werebuildings, and other structures so they were
accessible to a wider variety of users.accessible to a wider variety of users.
Instead of building only steps to get into aInstead of building only steps to get into a
building, ramps were built too. Elevators werebuilding, ramps were built too. Elevators were
also built inside to allow easy access to differentalso built inside to allow easy access to different
Origins of UDL (cont.)Origins of UDL (cont.)
Pre-Universal Design construction Post-Universal Design construction
Origins of UDL (cont.)Origins of UDL (cont.)
UDL is the idea that teachers andUDL is the idea that teachers and
administrators can reduce barriers inadministrators can reduce barriers in
instruction by creating curriculums thatinstruction by creating curriculums that
allow all students to achieve success.allow all students to achieve success.
Ramps = Digital BooksRamps = Digital Books
Elevators = Digital Media and ToolsElevators = Digital Media and Tools
Let’s watch this video to get a better understand of the origins of UDL and what it
Three Principles of UDLThree Principles of UDL
1.1. Provide Multiple Means of RepresentationProvide Multiple Means of Representation
2.2. Provide Multiple Means of ExpressionProvide Multiple Means of Expression
3.3. Provide Multiple Means of EngagementProvide Multiple Means of Engagement
Multiple Means of RepresentationMultiple Means of Representation
All students come into the classroom withAll students come into the classroom with
a preferred learning style.a preferred learning style.
It is important for teachers to presentIt is important for teachers to present
content in a variety of ways to ensure allcontent in a variety of ways to ensure all
students are grasping the concepts.students are grasping the concepts.
What works for one student, may not workWhat works for one student, may not work
for another.for another. http://www.cast.org/research/udl/http://www.cast.org/research/udl/
Multiple Means of ExpressionMultiple Means of Expression
Students may prefer to express theirStudents may prefer to express their
understanding of concepts differently thanunderstanding of concepts differently than
the teacher would like, which is ok!the teacher would like, which is ok!
There is not one true means of expressionThere is not one true means of expression
all students are going to find optimal, soall students are going to find optimal, so
giving options is a good strategy.giving options is a good strategy.
Multiple Means of EngagementMultiple Means of Engagement
Students differ in the ways in which they areStudents differ in the ways in which they are
engaged and motivated to learn.engaged and motivated to learn.
Some students prefer a routine, where othersSome students prefer a routine, where others
may need different actions to keep theirmay need different actions to keep their
Teachers must remember to vary the way inTeachers must remember to vary the way in
which they try to make lessons more engaging.which they try to make lessons more engaging.
Technology in UDLTechnology in UDL
A key component ofA key component of
UDL is technology inUDL is technology in
the classroom.the classroom.
As curriculums areAs curriculums are
being developed,being developed,
technology shouldtechnology should
play a central role inplay a central role in
the overall design.the overall design.
Why Technology?Why Technology?
““ A single presentation method can proveA single presentation method can prove
To diversify instruction, technology basedTo diversify instruction, technology based
tools such as digital software programs,tools such as digital software programs,
websites, video clips, text-to-speechwebsites, video clips, text-to-speech
software, and other resources should be asoftware, and other resources should be a
fixture in the classroom.fixture in the classroom.
Why Technology? (cont.)Why Technology? (cont.)
UDL incorporatesUDL incorporates
technology in atechnology in a
way that makesway that makes
accessible foraccessible for
Technology ExamplesTechnology Examples
1.1. Computer SoftwareComputer Software – Enlarges print for– Enlarges print for
visually impairedvisually impaired
2.2. Text-to-SpeechText-to-Speech – Software that reads digital– Software that reads digital
text to struggling readerstext to struggling readers
3.3. Multimedia Presentation SoftwareMultimedia Presentation Software – Gives all– Gives all
students options as to how they want to showstudents options as to how they want to show
4.4. WebsitesWebsites – Provide images, audio clips, video– Provide images, audio clips, video
clips, and other resources not found in printedclips, and other resources not found in printed
text for all learnerstext for all learners
The design and implementation of technology in UDL is very similar to buildings that
are built with ramps, elevators, and other features that benefit all people who enter.
Impact of UDL at WestmontImpact of UDL at Westmont
Imagine the impact UDL could have on theImagine the impact UDL could have on the
students at our middle school!students at our middle school!
Currently, the different curriculums being usedCurrently, the different curriculums being used
with each grade level are not structured in a waywith each grade level are not structured in a way
that is beneficial to all students.that is beneficial to all students.
We have curriculums that are similar to pre-We have curriculums that are similar to pre-
universal design buildings. We lack ramps,universal design buildings. We lack ramps,
elevators, and other tools that would allow moreelevators, and other tools that would allow more
students the chance to succeed.students the chance to succeed.
Impact at WestmontImpact at Westmont
With the right technology tools andWith the right technology tools and
structured classrooms, we couldstructured classrooms, we could
make learning more accessible tomake learning more accessible to
our diverse group of learners.our diverse group of learners.
Instead of allowing students to slipInstead of allowing students to slip
through the cracks and forcingthrough the cracks and forcing
them to learn one certain way,them to learn one certain way,
providing options and differentproviding options and different
avenues of learning would openavenues of learning would open
up a whole new world for manyup a whole new world for many
Some students may even surpriseSome students may even surprise
us with the how smart and brightus with the how smart and bright
they truly are if we only give themthey truly are if we only give them
the chance to do so!the chance to do so!
PSSA Scores on the Rise?PSSA Scores on the Rise?
With state mandated test in the forefront ofWith state mandated test in the forefront of
many of our minds, UDL would certainly help tomany of our minds, UDL would certainly help to
raise test scores.raise test scores.
With UDL implementation, students whoWith UDL implementation, students who
previously were unable to comprehend andpreviously were unable to comprehend and
perform due to the constraints of the curriculum,perform due to the constraints of the curriculum,
will now have had the proper tools and programswill now have had the proper tools and programs
to prepare them for the end of the year test.to prepare them for the end of the year test.
Is UDL really necessary?Is UDL really necessary?
The implementationThe implementation
of UDL in theof UDL in the
classroom may soundclassroom may sound
great, but is theregreat, but is there
proof of its necessity?proof of its necessity?
What does brainWhat does brain
research tell us aboutresearch tell us about
learners and theirlearners and their
ability to succeed?ability to succeed?
Brain Research and UDLBrain Research and UDL
According to UDL proponent and brainAccording to UDL proponent and brain
research specialist Dr. David Rose, theresearch specialist Dr. David Rose, the
brain has a way of distributing processesbrain has a way of distributing processes
to different parts of the brain (Laureateto different parts of the brain (Laureate
Education Inc., 2009).Education Inc., 2009).
There are three networks associated withThere are three networks associated with
brain research and UDL. (recognition,brain research and UDL. (recognition,
strategic, and affective)strategic, and affective)
Recognition NetworkRecognition Network
The recognition network of theThe recognition network of the
brain is in charge ofbrain is in charge of
processing patterns.processing patterns.
It determines and deciphersIt determines and deciphers
what is coming into the brainwhat is coming into the brain
such as sites, smells, sounds,such as sites, smells, sounds,
and patterns (Laureate, 2009).and patterns (Laureate, 2009).
Due to student differencesDue to student differences
in the way they use theirin the way they use their
recognition network,recognition network,
teachers should deliverteachers should deliver
instruction in a variety ofinstruction in a variety of
Some students preferSome students prefer
visuals, audio clips, images,visuals, audio clips, images,
and other means of learningand other means of learning
content. If we consistentlycontent. If we consistently
teach using one method,teach using one method,
many students are unablemany students are unable
to properly use theirto properly use their
recognition network.recognition network.
Strategic NetworkStrategic Network
Brain research tellsBrain research tells
us that our strategicus that our strategic
network controlsnetwork controls
different functions ofdifferent functions of
our body.our body.
The strategic networkThe strategic network
processes the plansprocesses the plans
and actions one takesand actions one takes
(Laureate, 2009).(Laureate, 2009).
Strategic Network (cont.)Strategic Network (cont.)
Students have different ways in which theyStudents have different ways in which they
prefer to carry out actions, which has hugeprefer to carry out actions, which has huge
implications in the classroom.implications in the classroom.
As teachers we need to be providing multipleAs teachers we need to be providing multiple
ways for students to express their understandingways for students to express their understanding
of content.of content.
Asking students to always show theirAsking students to always show their
understanding in the same way is unfair.understanding in the same way is unfair.
Multiple Means of Expression IdeasMultiple Means of Expression Ideas
1.1. Project-based assessmentsProject-based assessments
2.2. Digital StoriesDigital Stories
3.3. Multimedia PresentationsMultimedia Presentations
Giving end of the unit tests and quizzes is notGiving end of the unit tests and quizzes is not
an ideal way to truly assess the learning ofan ideal way to truly assess the learning of
ALLALL students. Students need options tostudents. Students need options to
express their learning in a way that suits theirexpress their learning in a way that suits their
Affective NetworkAffective Network
Dr. Rose states that the affective networkDr. Rose states that the affective network
of the brain focuses on emotions and whatof the brain focuses on emotions and what
is and is not important (Laureate, 2009).is and is not important (Laureate, 2009).
No two students are exactly the sameNo two students are exactly the same
academically or emotionally.academically or emotionally.
Teachers must take into account students’Teachers must take into account students’
affective networks when planning lessons.affective networks when planning lessons.
Affective Network (cont.)Affective Network (cont.)
Teachers need to provideTeachers need to provide
multiple means of engagementmultiple means of engagement
through instruction.through instruction.
Some students prefer noveltySome students prefer novelty
and find it engaging, whileand find it engaging, while
others find it to be off puttingothers find it to be off putting
(Laureate, 2009).(Laureate, 2009).
Striking a balance and varyingStriking a balance and varying
instructional methods isinstructional methods is
extremely important.extremely important.
UDL Meets a Variety of NeedsUDL Meets a Variety of Needs
UDL not only meets the academic needsUDL not only meets the academic needs
of all students, it also supports the cultural,of all students, it also supports the cultural,
ethnic, and linguistic diversity in aethnic, and linguistic diversity in a
Today’s classrooms are becoming moreToday’s classrooms are becoming more
and more diverse, with a variety of needsand more diverse, with a variety of needs
that need to be met.that need to be met.
Cultural and Ethnic DiversityCultural and Ethnic Diversity
The UDL framework calls forThe UDL framework calls for
technology in the classroom.technology in the classroom.
With the Internet and otherWith the Internet and other
multimedia tools, all races,multimedia tools, all races,
genders, and culturalgenders, and cultural
backgrounds can be easilybackgrounds can be easily
incorporated into lessons.incorporated into lessons.
Classes can study differentClasses can study different
cultures with ease. They cancultures with ease. They can
view images and artifacts fromview images and artifacts from
different cultures.different cultures.
Different cultures learn andDifferent cultures learn and
apply their learning differently.apply their learning differently.
UDL can help students ofUDL can help students of
varying cultural and ethnicvarying cultural and ethnic
backgrounds express theirbackgrounds express their
learning in a way that theylearning in a way that they
Some cultures rely heavily onSome cultures rely heavily on
problem solving, while otherproblem solving, while other
cultures may focus on writingcultures may focus on writing
or presentation skills. Noor presentation skills. No
matter the culture, UDL andmatter the culture, UDL and
technology help to make thetechnology help to make the
curriculum accessible to allcurriculum accessible to all
Linguistic DiversityLinguistic Diversity
With diverse classrooms comes linguisticWith diverse classrooms comes linguistic
There are an increasing number of ELLThere are an increasing number of ELL
students in public education classroomstudents in public education classroom
today than ever before.today than ever before.
As teachers, it is our job to successfullyAs teachers, it is our job to successfully
meet their needs.meet their needs.
Linguistic Diversity (cont.)Linguistic Diversity (cont.)
There are numerousThere are numerous
technology toolstechnology tools
available to helpavailable to help
language differences.language differences.
2.2. Websites that translateWebsites that translate
words into otherwords into other
3.3. Teacher providedTeacher provided
images and audio toimages and audio to
help with visualizationhelp with visualization
Technology is the KeyTechnology is the Key
Classrooms in the U.S. have always beenClassrooms in the U.S. have always been
In the past, there were fewer resources andIn the past, there were fewer resources and
tools to help accommodate the variety oftools to help accommodate the variety of
educational needs.educational needs.
In today’s technology driven society, teachersIn today’s technology driven society, teachers
have access to a multitude of tools and gadgetshave access to a multitude of tools and gadgets
to help implement UDL.to help implement UDL.
Technology and Brain ResearchTechnology and Brain Research
““Individuals bring a huge variety of skills,Individuals bring a huge variety of skills,
needs, and interests to learning.needs, and interests to learning.
Neuroscience reveals that theseNeuroscience reveals that these
differences are as varied and unique asdifferences are as varied and unique as
our DNA or fingerprints.”our DNA or fingerprints.”
Meeting DifferencesMeeting Differences
Technology tools and gadgetsTechnology tools and gadgets
can greatly aid in meeting thecan greatly aid in meeting the
diverse needs of students.diverse needs of students.
Teachers can present contentTeachers can present content
via PowerPoints, havevia PowerPoints, have
students work with digitalstudents work with digital
storytelling software,storytelling software,
incorporate videos, images,incorporate videos, images,
sounds, and differentsounds, and different
resources that were notresources that were not
available until technologyavailable until technology
became part of education.became part of education.
Technology also providesTechnology also provides
students with options as tostudents with options as to
how they prefer to displayhow they prefer to display
Technology in theTechnology in the
UDL framework is asUDL framework is as
necessary as ramps,necessary as ramps,
elevators, and otherelevators, and other
structural designs arestructural designs are
necessary in modernnecessary in modern
day buildings.day buildings.
No Child Left BehindNo Child Left Behind
With government mandated standardsWith government mandated standards
and benchmark levels that need to be hit,and benchmark levels that need to be hit,
UDL is a fantastic program that provides aUDL is a fantastic program that provides a
sound education for all students.sound education for all students.
Technology must be a central componentTechnology must be a central component
of UDL to ensure all children are reachingof UDL to ensure all children are reaching
their greatest academic potential.their greatest academic potential.
UDL Tools forUDL Tools for
There are a variety of tools and resourcesThere are a variety of tools and resources
available to help a school district in theavailable to help a school district in the
implementation process of UDL.implementation process of UDL.
However, before implementing UDL, aHowever, before implementing UDL, a
district must first determine the barriersdistrict must first determine the barriers
that currently exist in the curriculum.that currently exist in the curriculum.
Curriculum Barriers FinderCurriculum Barriers Finder
““We know that each learner brings unique strengths,We know that each learner brings unique strengths,
challenges, and interests to learning tasks, and that thechallenges, and interests to learning tasks, and that the
idea of a homogeneous group of ‘typical’ learners isidea of a homogeneous group of ‘typical’ learners is
really a myth. Yet most curriculum is designed as ifreally a myth. Yet most curriculum is designed as if
learners were all the same.”learners were all the same.”
The idea behind the Curriculum Barrier Finder isThe idea behind the Curriculum Barrier Finder is
that it allows for the practice of using the UDLthat it allows for the practice of using the UDL
framework to discover any obstacles that mayframework to discover any obstacles that may
be hindering the learning of all students.be hindering the learning of all students.
Curriculum Barriers Finder (cont.)Curriculum Barriers Finder (cont.)
During this process, teachersDuring this process, teachers
closely analyze the materials,closely analyze the materials,
texts, and other resourcestexts, and other resources
used in the classroom andused in the classroom and
compare the data to thecompare the data to the
strengths and needs ofstrengths and needs of
If a teacher is aware of theIf a teacher is aware of the
needs of his/her students andneeds of his/her students and
discovers that there arediscovers that there are
multiple barriers that aremultiple barriers that are
hindering a child from reachinghindering a child from reaching
their full potential, thentheir full potential, then
something needs to be done tosomething needs to be done to
fix the problem.fix the problem.
The CAST website offers tutorials and outlines to help with the analysis process.
UDL Class Profile MakerUDL Class Profile Maker
Another tool outlined by CAST is the UDLAnother tool outlined by CAST is the UDL
Class Profile Maker.Class Profile Maker.
““Most classrooms contain as manyMost classrooms contain as many
different kinds of learners as there aredifferent kinds of learners as there are
UDL Classroom Profile MakerUDL Classroom Profile Maker
This tool helps teachers to understand theThis tool helps teachers to understand the
different learning styles and preferences ofdifferent learning styles and preferences of
students by implementing phases of the UDLstudents by implementing phases of the UDL
““Instead of grouping students into broadInstead of grouping students into broad
categories, we can maximize learning bycategories, we can maximize learning by
becoming aware of subtle and variedbecoming aware of subtle and varied
combinations of strengths, needs, and interestscombinations of strengths, needs, and interests
that each student brings to the classroom.”that each student brings to the classroom.”
UDL Classroom Profile MakerUDL Classroom Profile Maker
The CAST site provides a template andThe CAST site provides a template and
the strategies for carrying out thethe strategies for carrying out the
classroom profile.classroom profile.
Once teachers better understand theirOnce teachers better understand their
students and how they learn moststudents and how they learn most
efficiently, true learning and retention canefficiently, true learning and retention can
take place.take place.
UDL Systematic Change PlannerUDL Systematic Change Planner
Though UDL can be a universal concept,Though UDL can be a universal concept,
there are different ways and strategies forthere are different ways and strategies for
implementing the framework into a schoolimplementing the framework into a school
The Systematic Change Planner allowsThe Systematic Change Planner allows
teachers and administrators to becometeachers and administrators to become
familiar with different facets that are key infamiliar with different facets that are key in
making UDL happen.making UDL happen.
UDL Systematic Change PlannerUDL Systematic Change Planner
The Systematic Change Planner outlinesThe Systematic Change Planner outlines
the way in which a school can revamp thethe way in which a school can revamp the
It also provides models to help clarify andIt also provides models to help clarify and
demonstrate the proper way to implementdemonstrate the proper way to implement
CAST, Teaching Every Student. (2010).CAST, Teaching Every Student. (2010). Tools and activitiesTools and activities. Retrieved. Retrieved
November 25, 2010 from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/November 25, 2010 from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/tools/
Center for Applied Special Technology. (2009).Center for Applied Special Technology. (2009). UDL guidelines, version 1.0.UDL guidelines, version 1.0.
Retrieved November 13, 2010 fromRetrieved November 13, 2010 from
Colorado State University. (2010).Colorado State University. (2010). The history and philosophy of UDLThe history and philosophy of UDL..
Retrieved November 18, 2010 fromRetrieved November 18, 2010 from
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009).Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Brain research andBrain research and
universal design for learninguniversal design for learning. Reaching and engaging all learners through. Reaching and engaging all learners through
technology. Baltimore: Author.technology. Baltimore: Author.
National Universal Design for Learning Task Force. (2007).National Universal Design for Learning Task Force. (2007). UniversalUniversal
design for learning.design for learning. Retrieved November 18, 2010 fromRetrieved November 18, 2010 from
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