by Kristie Burk
All teachers, regardless of whether or not they’re using technology in their classroom, should be using Universal Design for Learning principles in their lessons. The term was inspired by the universal design concept pioneered by Ron Mace of North Carolina State University. Universal Design for Learning states that classes and classrooms lessons should be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for modification or adaptations.
Implementing UDL principles in your classroom means adhering to three basic ideas:
- Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
- Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and
- Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.
A great web resource on Universal Design is the National Center for Universal Design for Learning.
The National Center for UDL includes basic information to help teachers get started using Universal Design, including a collection of rich media presentations to help educators understand, build and implement UDL in their classes. Under “implementation” on the Website, you can find a PD toolkit, teacher toolkits, UDL and Common Core Standards, and examples. The “research” section is fantastic. Click on any checkpoint, such as “offer alternatives for visual information,” and the website will list all of the quantitative and experimental evidence on this provision. The website also has additional advocacy and community resources. Check out the website and let us know what you think using #websitewed.