Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an inclusive approach to learning that recognizes students' unique strengths, abilities, and learning preferences and guides the design of educational materials, methods, and assessments to meet those diverse learner needs. One of the goals of UDL is to help students become "expert learners" by empowering them to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or ability. While not a replacement for all disability accommodations, UDL may help reduce the need for individual accommodations by taking a proactive approach to inclusive course design and instruction.
UDL was inspired by the Universal Design movement in architecture and product development, which called for "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." Researchers at the Center for Applied Technology (CAST) applied this foundational principle to learning by incorporating neuroscience research and progressive education theories to create a set of guidelines for designing and implementing inclusive learning environments. In a nutshell, UDL is based on specific neural networks that govern what, how, and why we learn. These three networks (affective, recognition, and strategic) help define the conceptual framework of UDL and map to fundamental inclusive learning considerations.
CITL's UDL Team is a dedicated group of experts who are well-versed in UDL principles, educational technology, and accessibility standards. They stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices and are committed to promoting UDL principles to create a more inclusive and accessible learning experience for all students.
UDL-Focused Course- and Program-Level Design Consultation: We collaborate with instructors and eLearning professionals to help make course content, methods, and assessments more inclusive.
UDL Training and Professional Development: Discover practical strategies that enhance engagement, improve accessibility, and foster inclusion.
Course Quality Assurance Reviewers and Training: We provide quality assurance training, as well as thorough course content and design reviews with expert guidance on accessibility, copyright, pedagogy, and media.
To learn more about Universal Design for Learning and how you can work with the CITL UDL Team, please contact us at CITL-UDLTeam@illinois.edu.
For a Quality Assurance review, please fill out a Course Review Request.
Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning
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