Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning

Are you interested in disrupting inequities in the classroom? Do you want to remove barriers in the classroom to create inclusive learning environments? If so, consider using Universal Design for Learning to inform your course design and delivery.

UDL is an educational design framework that guides the design of materials, methods, and assessments with the goal of optimizing learning for as many learners as possible. It is about proactively and intentionally designing for learner diversity and is based on “scientific insights into how humans learn” (CAST, 2018).

Below are a list of learning opportunities and resources to guide you in using UDL in your teaching:

  • UDL Guiding Principles

    Below is a snapshot of UDL’s guiding principles developed by CAST.  

    1. Provide multiple means of representation.

    It is important to provide course content in different formats as learners differ in the way they comprehend information. For example, giving a live demonstration on how to use photoshop PLUS providing a written handout with images on how to use photoshop taps into the different ways that students learn.

    1. Provide multiple means of action and expression

    It is important to provide different ways in which students can demonstrate what they are learning as learners differ in the way they can express what they know. For example, if students need to demonstrate knowledge about a designer, give them the choice of a live presentation OR a video OR an essay. This taps into the different ways that students are best able to express what they know. 


    1. Provide multiple means of engagement.

    It is important to provide different ways to stimulate interest and motivation in learning as learners differ in the ways they are engaged and motivated to learn. For example, allow students the opportunity to work in pairs, groups, or individually. Engagement is also about respecting the diversity in our classroom such as providing diverse perspectives (for example, teaching art history from multiple perspectives) and showcasing diverse designers in your course (for example, designers that identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, or as having disabilities). 


    CAST (2018). About Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from https://www.cast.org/impact/universal-design-for-learning-udl

  • Learn more about UDL

    Watch an introduction to UDL workshop by our teaching and learning team​.

    Watch a Fostering Expert Learners Workshop by our teaching and learning team.

    Join our UDL Google Classroom which is a self-paced resource that guides you through UDL using lots of examples and diverse resources. You need to log in using your NBCCD email account (__@nbccd.ca).

    Learn about UDL for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility through this open resource guide by post secondary educators in Ontario.

    Make an individual consultation with our team to talk about using UDL in your classroom.

    Read about UDL in the Creative Arts Classroom from the University of California Los Angeles’ teaching and learning centre.

    Learn more about the UDL Guiding Principles developed by CAST.