Universal Design for
Reaching and Engaging All Learners through Technology (EDUC - 6714I - 2)
Dr. Jaqueline Derby
2. Inspiration for UDL
• UDL provides alternatives so that every student can learn.
• The theory for UDL comes from the building and
• There was a need to make buildings accessible to all people
regardless of their disability.
• An example of UDL in the physical environment is a building
with stairs and ramps. A building with only stairs isn’t
accessible to people in a wheelchair or other motorized
device. Adding a ramp to the building creates an alternative
entrance for those who are disabled and in need of a
• Some other examples of UDL in the physical world are:
Closed Captioning, Automatic doors, and elevators.
3. Principles of UDL and
• UDL is a set of principles for curriculum
design that give all individuals an equal
opportunity to learn
• The three principles of UDL are:
– Provide Multiple Means of Representation; the
“what” of learning.
– Provide Multiple Means of action and
expression; the “how” of learning.
– Provide Multiple Means of Engagement; the
“why” of learning.
4. Instructional Methods
• 1. Provide students with multiple means of representation:
– Provide multiple examples that suit instructional needs as well as the learning
needs of students. Using multi-media to create examples allows the teacher to
save the examples as well as edit and manipulate them as needed.
– Highlight critical features to direct student learning. This can be done through
changes in voice (tone, volume, pitch, pauses, etc.), variations in text, and digital
– Provide Multiple Media and Formats. Giving students choice allows those with
disabilities affecting a particular modality to access information through
another one that they are stronger in. This allows learners to find a format that
is appealing and works best for them. In addition, students feel a sense of
leadership and control over their learning making them more motivated and
– Support background knowledge. By reflecting on personal experiences and
reviewing vocabulary, teachers can tie background knowledge into new patterns
and information making the new information have meaning and therefore be
5. Instructional Methods
• 2. Provide students with multiple means of action and expression.
– Present models in a variety of contexts such as small group, whole
group, one-on-one, in person, online, etc. Using a variety of media helps
learners understand critical features of a process.
– Provide opportunities to practice with supports. Practicing skills in
context is more effective for students than practicing skills in
– Provide optional scaffolds to accommodate individual differences
– Provide on-going relevant feedback. Feedback can come in many forms
and is most effective when delivered in a supportive manner. This
helps to build learners confidence. In addition, it helps learners
develop self-monitoring skills.
– Provide students with flexible opportunities for demonstrating a skill.
This will allow students to choose a method that is suitable and
comfortable for him/her.
6. Instructional Methods
• 3. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
– Offer choices of content and tools to increase student enthusiasm for
– CAST found that working with multi-media and the world wide web can
break discouragement and re-engage learners who are stressed to
– When students are enjoying what they are learning their motivation
can be fueled.
– Provide adjustable levels of challenge. According to psychologist Lev
Vygotsky (1962) students work better when they are in their “zone of
proximal development.” The challenge should be beyond current
capacity, but not out of reach.
– The level of challenge should be adjusted for different learners.
– Offer choice of rewards.
– Offer choice of learning context.
7. Central Role of
Technology in UDL
• 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.
8. Impact of UDL on
• UDL has a huge impact on student learning.
It helps students master learning and
become expert learners.
• From UDL perspective expert learners are
resourceful & knowledgeable, strategic &
goal-directed, and purposeful & motivated.
• To find out more about UDL’s perspective
on expert learners visit http://www.udlcenter.org/
9. What does brain research
tell us about learning
• Three networks of the brain:
The “what” of learning
The “how” of learning
The “why” of learning
• These three networks of the brain tell us that people learn in different ways and
different areas of the brain are accessed or stimulated through different teaching
strategies and activities.
• The recognition network processes patterns, the strategic network processes
actions, and the affective network processes emotions and evaluates patterns.
• Knowing about these networks allows educators to understand how the brain works
and therefore understand learning differences better. If educators have a grasp on
learning differences they can be better prepared to address and meet those
differences successfully to create successful learning experiences for all learners.
10. cultural, ethnic, linguistic,
and academic diversity?
• 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.
11. in UDL: How is this
connected to brain
• 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
• Brain research shows that the brain is made up of 3
networks; recognition network, strategic network, and
affective network. By providing a variety of ways to
present information to learners educators are ensuring that
individual learning styles are met and all networks of the
brain are stimulated. Thus, creating an enriching and
motivating learning environment for all learners.
12. CAST Online Tools
• The following are some CAST online tools that can
be helpful when designing curriculum based on
• CAST, Inc. (2007–2011). Curriculum self-check:
Explore resources. Retrieved from http://
• CAST, Inc. (2005–2011). UDL lesson builder.
Retrieved from http://lessonbuilder.cast.org/
• CAST, Inc. (2006–2011). UDL book builder.
Retrieved from http://bookbuilder.cast.org/
• Differentiated Instruction and Implications for UDL
• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010).
Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Baltimore, MD: Dr.
• Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010).
Brain Research and UDL. Baltimore, MD: Dr. David Rose.
• National Center on Univeral Design for Learning