Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of guidelines that can be applied to any discipline to design a curriculum that recognizes that no two students are alike. Our Graphic and Web design program attracts a diverse group of adult students who are taught exclusively online. With varied backgrounds and experience, language skills and learning styles there is a need to design courses that offer our students multiple ways of accessing knowledge.
The UDL guidelines ensure that all students are given the same opportunity to participate and flourish.
The UDL framework consists of three principles that address learner variability: Multiple Means of Engagement, Multiple Means of Representation, and Multiple Means of Action and Expression. This is the WHY, WHAT, and HOW of learning. Using these three principles, teachers are able to design curriculums that offer different options that meet the diverse needs of all students.
This sounds like a lot of work. Why should I bother?
Yes it's true. It takes more time to put the principles of UDL into practice. However, it should never be a question of whether or not it takes more time, the question should be how much is really too much if it means improving the outcome of all students (Rapp, 2014).
Failing to do the most for everyone would effectively be allowing some students get to thrive, while leaving others behind.