Universal Design for Learning

What is Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a curriculum design, development, and delivery framework used to create inclusive and accessible learning environments. The goal of UDL is to support creating masterful learners who are purposeful, motivated, resourceful, knowledgeable, strategic, and goal-directed.

UDL guidelines are based on three primary brain networks:

  • Affective
  • Recognition
  • Strategic

Each network is identified by a principle to guide design, development, and delivery in practice:

  • Multiple means of engagement
  • Multiple means of representation
  • Multiple means of action and expression

Each network contains three checkpoints (nine in total) that emphasize learner diversity that could either present barriers to, or opportunities for, learning. The checkpoints are as follows:

  • Multiple Means of Engagement
    • Options for recruiting interest
    • Options for sustaining effort and persistence
    • Options for self-regulation
  • Multiple Means of Representation
    • Options for perception
    • Options for language, math and symbols
    • Options for comprehension
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression
    • Options for physical action
    • Options for expression and communication
    • Options for executive functions

The graphic organizer below offers a visual representation of the UDL Guidelines at Mohawk College:.

UDL Guidelines - Access the link below the graphic for a description.

Access an accessible version of the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines graphic: Accessible version of UDL Graphic in Word or Accessible version of UDL Graphic in PDF.

Use the links to the left, or the links at the bottom (when on a mobile device), to explore Universal Design for Learning at Mohawk College, including information for faculty, implementation ideas, and useful resources.

UDL Standard

Based on the data obtained through the 2017-2018 Universal Design for Learning for Technology-enabled Post-secondary Courses at Mohawk College research project, the UDL Standard for Mohawk College was developed. The goal of a college-wide standard regarding UDL is to promote the advancement of Mohawk College’s commitment to inclusion and access in all learning environments.

The UDL Standard is not prescriptive, and is meant to provide consideration options to support the design, development, and delivery of curriculum. Please review the UDL Standard, in one of the formats included below, to determine how you might include UDL in your curriculum design, development, and delivery.

Word iconAccess the UDL Standard as a Word document PDF iconAccess the UDL Standard as a PDF document

Universal Design for Learning Contact Information

Darla Benton Kearney is the Universal Design for Learning Curriculum Consultant in the Center for Teaching & Learning. She is available to answer questions and support UDL implementation. Please feel free to connect with her at darla.benton [at] mohawkcollege.ca or extension 3688.

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