Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What is UDL?

A Blogger's Insight: 

Review of

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)? Throughout the years, educators and scholars have debated the meaning of universal design of learning.  Personally, UDL is about making the curriculum and materials accessible, flexible while providing alternative routes and options for all learners' success, in addition to, meeting individual goals of becoming a life-long learner.

According to,, they define UDL as a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.  Short and simple, right? This site is wonderful to break down the complexity of UDL and why is it necessary.  It provides a visual representation of UDL for those visual learners while providing concrete guidelines pertaining to each aspect of universal design of learning.  Don't take my insight for it, check it out and become part of the debate.  How do you define UDL? 


  1. April, I define UDL almost the same way I define differentiation. It's reaching all learners by turning the curriculum into usable knowledge while enabling students to express themselves and show what they've learned. This includes getting to know their interests and then helping them set their own goals.

    In my classroom I try to give multiple options for my students to choose from. I saw on a video that Amanda posted, that the goal for all school should be to have every child on the same level regardless of their abilities. Meaning that we are designing so that a struggling, non reader can have a meaningful discussion about a book/story with a high level reader. I thought that brings to live the meaning behind UDL.

  2. I really agree with you both! I kept pulling the word differentiation in too. I think all of the websites and videos we've seen thus far have already changed my aspect of UDL and how accessible (and necessary) it really is. I'll have to check Amanda's page for that video...sounds interesting!

  3. Throughout undergraduate and my special education courses, the more I learn about UDL the easier it becomes for me to define. I completely agree with you, Michelle, and Meghan that differentiation is essential in today's classroom when we are exposed to such diverse abilities and backgrounds. Simply put, UDL helps us address this diversity in the classroom by providing strategies and techniques to help everyone be successful. My favorite thing about Universal Design for Learning is that it gives every student in your classroom an equal opportunity to learn and be successful. Which at the end of the day, is a goal that we all want to accomplish as a teacher.

  4. That's a really good point Michelle. Others may not realize it but differentiation is really applying UDL concepts. Making learning reachable and attainable for all students is the goal of UDL and differentiation is how we adjust our instruction to meet this. I will definitely have to view Amanda's post as well. Interesting information.