What is Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn and to demonstrate what they have learned. UDL aims to improve the educational experience of all students by introducing more flexible methods of teaching and assessment to cater for the diversity of learners in our classrooms. The UDL guidelines, provided by US organisation CAST, are based on the idea that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ or ‘average’ student, that all students learn differently and that to successfully teach for all students, we have to introduce greater flexibility in teaching and learning practice. The three principles of UDL are:

  • Multiple means of representation: present information and content in a variety of ways. 
  • Multiple means of expression: provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know.
  • Multiple means of engagement: to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges and increase motivation