April 12, 2015
Dr. Rebakah McPherson
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an
educational approach to curriculum and
instruction using technology to enable
students with diverse learning needs to be
successful in the classroom .”
UDL was initially a building design and later transferred to the educational
UDL Provides a blueprint for creating
instructional goals, methods, materials and
assessments that work for everyone.
Center for Applied Special Technology
(CAST) website: http//www.cast.org
What does brain research
tell us about learning
Rose and Meyer (2008) suggests that:
Learning takes place between 3 different
areas of the brain that affect the “What”,
the “How” and the “Why "of learning. These
areas are known as the Recognition,
Strategic, and Affective Networks.
Three networks of the brain:
Recognition Networks The “what” of
Strategic Networks The “how” of learning
Affective Networks The “why” of learning•
Technology is important because it is key to
differentiation, and reaches each student in
Example: Computers, iPods, hand held
devices, Speech to text, etc.
To provide a variety of ways to present
information to learners to ensure that their
individual learning styles are addressed and
students are engaged and motivated. UDL
helps educators design curriculum that
meets the needs of all learners.
To find out more about UDL’s perspective
on expert learners visit
HOW CAN UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR
LEARNING WORK IN OUR SCHOOL?
Ability Levels Learning
Learning Cultures Influences
They also indicate that the learning
processes influenced by outside factors
which should be taken into consideration
Cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and
UDL supports various diversities among
learners because it provides educators with
an array of strategies and tools to
differentiate instruction to meet the needs
of all learners regardless of their cultural,
ethnic, and/or academic diversity.
Also, by providing differentiated
instruction to those in need can allow
students to reach their full potential. UDL
supports cultural, ethnic, linguistic and
academic diversity by reaching all
Provide multiple and flexible methods of
presentation to give students with diverse
learning styles various ways of acquiring
information and knowledge.
Examples: Learning Ally, text to speech
Audio books for auditory learners; Math
manipulative for Tactile learners. Large balls
for physical learners
Provide flexible means of expression to
provide diverse students with alternatives
for demonstrating what they have learned.
Examples: Making a model or art work;
doing a presentation
Provide multiple and flexible means of
engagement to tap into diverse learners’
interests, challenge them appropriately,
and motivate them to learn.
Example: Vary the teaching style to fit the
learning style of a student. Also allow
students to choose to work in a group or
CAST, a nonprofit research and
development organization that works to
expand learning opportunities for all
individuals, especially those with disabilities,
through Universal Design for Learning, has
several online tools designed to give
teachers the ability to meet the diverse
learning needs of students.
The following are some CAST online tools
that can be helpful when designing
curriculum based on UDL practices.
• CAST, Inc. (2007–2011). Curriculum self-
check: Explore resources. Retrieved from
ulum• CAST, Inc. (2005–2011).
UDL lesson builder. Retrieved from
http://lessonbuilder.cast.org/• CAST, Inc.
(2006–2011). UDL book builder. Retrieved
This tool allows teachers to create digital
books to support reading instruction.
Available at: http://bookbuilder.cast.org
This site allows educators to create and
implement lessons with flexible goals,
methods, materials, and assessments that
support learning for all students.
This site supports students in writing lab
and class reports. This tool is geared
toward middle school and high school
Powerpoint clip art
Laureate Education, Inc.(Executive
Producer). Program 13: Brainresearch and
universal design for learning [DVD].
Reaching and engaging all learners
through technology. Baltimore, MD:
Author.National Center on Universal Design
for Learning (2011, March 15).UDL
guidelines-Version 2.0. Retrieved
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every
student in the digital age:Universal design
for learning. Retrieved
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching
every student in the digital age:Universal
design for learning. Retrieved