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Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Carrye DeCrane September 30, 2010 EDUC 6714D-1 – Sherry Lambertson Walden University. Being fair is not treating every student the same way, but doing our best to meet each individual student’s diverse needs.

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universal design for learning udl

Universal Design for Learning(UDL)

Carrye DeCrane

September 30, 2010

EDUC 6714D-1 – Sherry Lambertson

Walden University

Being fair is not treating every student the same way, but doing our best to meet each individual student’s diverse needs.

How do we accommodate the unique needs of ALL students?

Universal Design for Learning! (UDL)

what is universal design for learning
What is Universal Design for Learning?

A flexible approach to instruction (Laureate Education, 2009).

Student-centered differentiation.

Based on the CAST “blueprint” for planning lessons that can be customized for every student.

Emphasizes technology-based resources and strategies.

what is cast how can they help
What is CAST how can they help?

Center for Applied Special Technology(CAST, 2010a)

Innovators who believe that every student should have equal access to learning.

A resource for those of us who agree! See some suggestions at the end of the slideshow.

what does udl do
What does UDL do?

For Teachers

For Students

  • Gives us a multidimensional view of our students as learners.
  • Provides insights into our students’ interests, knowledge, and understanding.
  • Offers multiple paths to engage them.
  • Motivates!
  • Gives them multiple ways to access content.
  • Gives them multiple ways to show what they learn.
  • Provides differentiated instruction.
the inspiration great minds do not think alike
The inspiration? Great minds do not think alike!

Our individual learning profiles and styles are unique – as unique as our fingerprints (CAST, 2010a).

Variables include:




where do we see it in our school already
Where do we see it in our school already?

The assistive and supportive technology used by our special needs students:

Textbooks on CD

Voice recognition software

The tools and technology used by all of our students:

Online research database access

Word processing software

for teachers technology is the foundation of udl
For teachers, technology is the foundation of UDL

Differentiate instruction: audio, video, text

Vary instructional strategies: SmartBoard demos, outlines

Vary instructional activities: games for skill practice, online research, classroom blog participation

for students technology is also the foundation of udl
For students, technology is also the foundation of UDL

Increase motivation with tools they know and use regularly: social networking, video games

Promote self-paced and self-directed work: word processing

Vary assessment products: podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, iMovies, wiki entries

how does technology and the udl format support diversity
How does technology and the UDL format support diversity?
  • Student academic needs are supported through flexible lesson planning and a variety of instructional strategies (Laureate Education, 2009).
  • A variety of learning styles as well as diverse cultural, linguistic, and ethnic needs are supported by the power of choice afforded students to direct their own topics, processes and assessments.
  • Technology opens a wealth of opportunity to both teachers and students to customize the learning experience.
current brain research supports the three areas of udl cast 2010
Current brain research supports the THREE areas of UDL (CAST, 2010)




brain research


  • Engage students.
  • Tap into student interests.
  • Provide challenges.
  • Stimulate learning.
  • Work in the Zone of Proximal Development (Howard, 2004).
  • Increase motivation.




of learning

brain research1


  • Use a variety of strategies to present information.
  • Give options for knowledge acquisition.
  • Gather resources, facts, details.
  • Categorize, identify patterns.




of learning

brain research2


  • Give options to demonstrate knowledge.
  • Help students formulate a plan of action.
  • Encourage self-expression.
  • Celebrate what they know.




of learning

what will be the impact on learning if we adopt udl in our school
What will be the impact on learning if we adopt UDL in our school?

All students receive differentiated instruction.

Students have more access to content through varied instruction.

Students develop a view of technology as a learning tool, not just a toy or social connection.

Students are more engaged and motivated.

useful resources from cast
Useful resources from CAST
  • Use their lesson builder to view sample lessons, modify existing lessons and develop new UDL lesson plans.


  • To help students do more effective online research, in all content areas, try the Strategy Tutor site. http://cst.cast.org/cst/auth-login
  • Teaching Every Student offers a variety of tools for teachers who want to learn more about UDL; they include sample lessons, planning models, and a link to the book Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/
another key resource for udl hopefuls
Another key resource for UDL hopefuls!

The National Center on Universal Design for Learning is an especially helpful site with UDL Guidelines, a forum for professionals to share ideas, and links to advocacy and news sources. This is another site produced by CAST. The link is on their homepage or you can go directly to the UDL Center through http://www.udlcenter.org/ (CAST, 2010b).

  • CAST. (2010a). CAST: Center for applied special technology. Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/index.html
  • CAST. (2010b). National Center Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/
  • Howard, K. L. (2004). Universal design for learning: Meeting the needs of all students. International Society for Technology in Education, 31(5), 26–29. Retrieved from the ERIC database.
  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Universal Design for Learning. Baltimore: Author.