Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for ALL learners.  At the core, UDL is rooted in neuroscience.  Research shows that learning occurs in three brain networks - the Affective Network, Recognition Network, and Strategic Network.  Evidence supports that learners are diverse, and that learner variability is the norm and can change across contexts.  Evidence also supports that barriers within learning environments can interfere with or interrupt the learning process.
Educators with a UDL mindset apply design principles to make learning accessible and beneficial to all learners. To ensure learners have equitable access to the same rigorous learning goals, educators are empowered to:
  • Embrace learner variability
  • Intentionally predict and remove barriers within the learning environment
  • Provide flexibility within the learning process
 The UDL Guidelines from CAST are a tool for educators to use in the design phase of teaching and learning.  By utilizing these guidelines, educators can proactively plan for learning opportunities to address barriers and maximize learner access; with the ultimate goal of creating expert learners who are purposeful & motivated, resourceful & knowledgeable, and strategic & goal-directed.