Patricia Kelsey

Walden University

EDUC 6714D-1

Instructor:  Sherry Lambertson

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

By reducing barriers and boosting levels of challenges and support, learning can be met from the start (National Center on Universal Design for Learning, 2011).

  • Inspiration for UDL

  • The Three Principles of UDL

  • Principle 1:  Provide Multiple Means of Representation

  • Principle 2:  Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

  • Principle 2:  Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

  • Impact of UDL on Student Learning in My School

  • UDL and Brain Research in the 3 Regions

  • Aligning UDL Strategies with Learning Networks


  • How UDL Supports Cultural, Ethnic, Linguistic, Academic Diversity

  • Role of Technology in UDL

  • CAST Tools and Resources

  • References


Inspiration for UDL

Universal Design (UD) was originally developed in architecture.  Architects implemented accessibility during initial stages of development instead of modifying access after completion. While stairs are not beneficial for everybody, removing barriers and designing other options to enter public building/entrances allowed everyone to enter and exit (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009).

Examples in Physical Environment:

  • Curb Cuts
  • Elevators
  • Ramps
  • Wider Doors
  • Flat Entrances

Provide Multiple Means of Representation

The "What" of learning

Help students identify information through the use of a wide variety of material.

(Sound, Light, Touch, Smell, Taste)


  • Graphic Organizers
  • Video Captions/Descriptions
  • Highlighted Vocabulary
  • Vocal Directions with Printed or Image Representation
  • Color Shading


Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

The "How" of learning

How ideas are expressed and organized

-Strategic planning (plan, execute, monitor)


  • Concept Mapping
  • Predicting
  • Steps needed to write an essay
  • Summarizing

Provide Mulitple Means of Engagement

The "Why" of Learnng

Provide multiple options for engagement.  Students differ in how they are engaged or motivated to learn.


  • Tie work with the real-world
  • Give Choices
  • Teach Reflection
  • Teach Self-Assessment

Impact of UDL on Student Learning in My School

  • Increase of student motivation
  • Increase in creativity
  • Increase in teacher collaboration
  • Create a positive learning environment
  • Create differentiated instruction
  • Various options for learning
  • Optimize skill building

"The brain, the most powerful learning tool that a student brings to the classroom, is highly complex and something of a mystery" (Rose & Meyer, 2002).

Aligning UDL Strategies with Learning Networks

Recognition Network:

  • Provide multiple examples to support "bottom-up" recognition.
  • Highlight critical features to direct student learning.
  • Provide multiple media and formats offers more choice in student learning.
  • Support background knowledge to fill gaps when learning new information.

Strategic Network:

  • Promote flexible models of skilled performance.
  • Provide opportunities to practice with support.
  • Provide multiple media and formats.
  • Offer flexible opportunities for demonstrating skill.

Affective Networks:

  • Offer choices of content and tools.
  • Offer adjustable levels of challenge.
  • Offer choices of rewards.
  • Offer choices of learning content.

(Rose & Meyer, 2002)

How UDL Supports Cultural, Ethnic,Linguistic, Academic Diversity

  • UDL supports all diverse learners through creating flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments.
  • Reduces barriers in instruction.
  • Maintains high expectations for all learners.

(National Center on Universal Design for Learning, 2011)

Role of Technology in UDL

  • Technology plays a valuable role in UDL.
  • Technology allows all learners access to a variety of information.
  • Technology enables teachers to customize a student's learning according to their needs.

CAST Tools and Resources:

UDL Goal Setter:  As our school becomes more diversified, teachers' lessons need to become more individualized.  This tool allow teachers to refine their goals while analyzing what is essential for student learning.

UDL Class Profile Maker: In my classroom, every student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  At times, I find it difficult to keep track and remember all of my students' learning abilities, strengths, and interests.  This tool allows teachers to utilize the UDL framework of the 3 brain learning networks in order to help understand their students.

TES Online Journal:  Although many teachers jot notes on paper, using an online tool such as this, grants us the opportunity to record our thoughts, ideas, reflections, and insights privately.  Though private, it may be insightful to be able to share it with your TES community.  Sharing ideas always allows for feedback from other members that my, in essence, be helpful.



CAST, Inc. (2002–2011). Teaching every student: Tools and activities. Retrieved from

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program twelve:  Brain Research and Universal Design for Learning [Video webcast].  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 from

Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Retrieved from