What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) UDL is an approach to learning, teaching, and assessment design that is proactive in addressing the varied identities, competencies, learning strengths, and needs of every learner in our learning environment. Developed by CAST, UDL promotes the engagement, resourcefulness, and independence of students as it ensures a variety of pathways through choice and flexibility. These pathways provide for: understanding content; goals that are clear and specific to the expected outcome; and student assessment that is flexibly designed to enable learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and skills in a variety of ways. UDL is built on the  three principles of Engagement, Representation, and Action and Expression. These principles are broken down into nine guidelines (three per principle) that provide suggestions to increase access to the learning goal, to build on students’ learning and develop their knowledge, understanding, and skills, and to support students to internalise their learning and skills. Each guideline has corresponding checkpoints, thirty-one in total, that provide more detailed suggestions on how to provide multiple means within each principle. The UDL Guidelines are currently being reviewed and redesigned from an equity lens.