We've collated some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on UDL, and we have clarified some misconceptions about UDL.

UDL is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and challenging for all. Ultimately, the goal of UDL is to support learners to become “expert learners” who are, each in their own way, purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal driven. 

UDL aims to change the design of the environment rather than to change the learner. 

When environments are intentionally designed to reduce barriers, all learners can engage in rigorous, meaningful learning.

Using Universal Design for Learning practices is good teaching, yes, but this is a simplification of what UDL is.

UDL is a framework with clear principles, guidelines, and checkpoints, which educators can use to intentionally design meaningful teaching practices. UDL users think carefully about the barriers their course entails, and work to break these barriers down.

Educators implement UDL to allow students to become purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal directed, also known as “expert learners.” 

UDL is based on research on neurosciences and how we learn so saying it is "just good teaching" is misleading.

The link between UDL practices and assisting students with disabilities is clear, but UDL actually helps all students.

For example, by providing captions on your videos you can help students who are deaf or hard of hearing. This practice can also help other students, such as students for whom English is a second language who may need help with understanding some of the vocabulary you use. Captions can also help students who can't listen to a video easily, such as those who are commuting on public transport, or parents who have a sleeping child nearby.

Not all our students disclose the barriers they face, and we can help many students by using UDL practices to break down those barriers.

UDL can use the power of technology to add flexibility to your course but you do not have to be an expert in technology to use UDL. 

There are a number of low-tech or no-tech options you can use, such as using engaging activities in the classroom (i.e. role-playing scenarios and exit tickets (ask students to write on a post-it what they are unclear on and any questions they have)).

The most powerful tech tool we have in UL is our Virtual Learning Environment (currently Sulis and Moodle, and soon to be Brightspace). Educational Technologists in UL have developed VLE templates you can use which align with UDL principles. 

Not at all. The first step in applying the UDL framework to practice is to define a specific, challenging learning goal. Consider what is not currently working in your course, or a common barrier which you've noticed. We've put together a few prompts to help you get started, visit our UDL ideas page.

UDL is an iterative process. By implementing inclusive practices gradually you can take note of what is and is not working for you and your students. Always ask for feedback from your students too.