Thursday, June 20, 2013

UDL Guides Personalized Learning

"Many children struggle in schools... because the way they are being taught
is in the way that is incompatible with the way they learn."   Peter Senge

Universal Design for Learning® (UDL) is the lens to guide the design of Personalized Learning Environments. UDL is based on neuroscience and how we learn. There are some misperceptions about UDL. You can determine each learner’s needs by using the principles of UDL to understand their strengths, challenges, aptitudes, interests, talents and aspirations. UDL has often been connected to special education, but it is a framework that applies to ALL learners who have variability in their learning. UDL helps teachers understand who all the learners are in their classroom.
Todd Rose from CAST explains why Variability Matters


When the learner understands how to use the UDL principles to understand how they learn best, they own and drive their learning. These three UDL principles help teachers know how learners:

  • Provide Multiple Means of Representation
  • Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  • Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

The UDL 2.0 Guidelines can assist anyone who plans lessons/units of study or develops curricula (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) to reduce barriers, as well as optimize levels of challenge and support, to meet the needs of all learners from the start. They can also help educators identify the barriers found in existing curricula. You can use the UDL Guidelines to help you determine your learners strengths, interests, and challenges and how they:
  • prefer or need to access and process information.
  • prefer to express what they know.
  • like to engage with the content. 



When learners know how they prefer or need to access information, engage with the content, and express what they know and understand, then they take responsibility for their learning. 


Diagram by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.