An ErasmusX Guide to Teaching with Universal Design for Learning (Free Download)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to proactively designing learning for all learners by lowering barriers, teaching flexibly and living the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. When teaching with UDL, students feel heard, seen, and valued as their voice matters and they experience control and autonomy over many aspects of their learning experience.

UDL particularly addresses the needs of students with functional impairments since the approach promotes the use of multiple ways of engagement, representation, and action & expression, which provides access to students who were historically excluded ‘by design’. However, UDL cannot be reduced to ensuring accessibility for students with a disability only. With this approach, we anticipate and predict needs that are not necessarily visible. We go beyond addressing needs that are known (such as needs of students who are ‘identified’ with a disability or needs of students who come forward and self-advocate) by designing for flexibility for everyone, therefore being as proactive as possible to limit barriers to learning (e.g. by adding captions to videos, by opening up a dialogue and showing approachability, by asking students for feedback).

UDL does not only acknowledge that all students are variable but also that all students come with intersecting identities (including minority ones) that make them subject to various degrees of freedom or oppression. In implementing UDL, we examine our blind spots, recognize where we can improve ourselves as teachers and are consciously working to include all students.

Would you like to participate actively in teaching in equitable and inclusive ways? Explore our 9 tips on implementing UDL right away and download the free guide here:

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ErasmusX

ErasmusX

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We are a team of crazy and passionate people, and the driving force behind educational disruptive innovation for the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).