UDL Week 1: What is UDL?

Welcome to UDL Week on our E-Learning blog! Later this week, Megan (one of our E-Learning Instructional Designers) is helping to deliver a workshop on campus on Universal Design for Learning. The response to this workshop has been huge, so we have decided to dedicate our blog this week to learning more about UDL.

You can find the backchannel for this discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #UPEIUDL and we would love to hear from you! If you have any questions about UDL, let us know! Maybe we’ll feature your questions in a blog post!

(PS – did you know the E-Learning Office is finally on Twitter? Check us out at @upeielo – we promise we are very informative and hilarious.)

But back to business. Simply put, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum design with the goal of providing all learners with equal opportunities to learn. UDL has three primary goals:

  • to create learning environments that are accessible to all learners;
  • to remove barriers to learning;
  • to shift the locus of control to learners.

This week, we will unpack the guidelines for Universal Design for Learning and discuss real ways to implement these guidelines in your teaching. These three guidelines are:

  • provide multiple means of representation;
  • provide multiple means of action and expression;
  • provide multiple means of engagement.

Following these guidelines means that students have flexible pathways to meet outcomes. At first glance, this might seem like a lot more work! However, we like to think that if you design your course with diversity and inclusion in mind, you will spend less time accommodating students and can spend more time engaging with your students.

Throughout this week, we will be sharing resources, strategies, and examples of UDL. We hope you will join us in this exploration of Universal Design for Learning. A great resource to get you started is the National Centre on Universal Design for Learning (link) at CAST.

This video from CAST provides an overview of the UDL framework:

Stay tuned tomorrow for a look into Accessibility at UPEI!

… and don’t forget to follow our Twitter backchannel at #UPEIUDL