Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that allows learners to engage with content and represent their knowledge in multiple ways. Designing courses using UDL principles promotes a rich learning environment, considers the variety of learner’s needs while incorporating accessibility principles.

The UDL framework that can improve your course for all learners. This section will give you a basic understanding of UDL and provide examples of how you can implement it in your course. We know the amount of information can be overwhelming at first. Remember, you can bookmark items you find useful to reference as you create specific content areas for your course.


UDL is providing multiple means of:

  • Engagement – focuses on how to motivate learners to meet learning objectives and consume the course content.
  • Representation – focuses on what students are learning and providing was to improve learners’ understanding of content.
  • Action and Expression – focuses on how learners will demonstrate their knowledge and mastery of course goals.

Use the following graphic organizer to understand how to incorporate the UDL principles.

UDL on Campus

The Office of Digital Learning recommends getting comfortable with UDL by reviewing the UDL on Campus – Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. Then, reflect on how students meet learning outcomes and where they stumble, this reflection will help highlight which UDL principles to incorporate. Utilize the principles at the beginning of the course development process or make small changes every semester to help engage our diverse group of learners.

Watch this UDL in Higher Education Introduction Video.

  1. UDL in Higher Ed contains several useful sections that describe UDL as applied to Higher Education, tips for getting started, and case studies demonstrating how to implement UDL successfully in a course. It also provides a list of other universities who are making UDL a priority.
  2. Course Design provides a wide variety of resources to assist you in creating your course with flexibility and variability in mind using the UDL framework.
  3. Media & Materials provides helpful information relating to utilizing media within a course effectively while also ensuring accessibility.
  4. Accessibility & Policy offers a more in-depth coverage of the laws mandating accessibility and information on creating and adopting policies relating to accessibility.

UDL in Action

Learning online can pose unique challenges for students. The resources below can assist you in building additional supports for students in an online environment and with designing assessments that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in multiple ways.

  • Examples in Higher Education provides real-world examples of how other instructors and universities are utilizing the UDL principles in their courses and programs.
  • Working with Industry Partners explores ways in which involving industry partners in course design can provide meaningful experiences for students.
  • Case-Based Learning provides examples of implementing case-based learning in courses while exemplifying the UDL principles.
  • Social Learning explores ways in which utilizing social learning enhances the learners’ experience.


Are you currently using UDL principles in your course? Become a UDL Champion and contact us to have your course materials or assessments showcased in UDL in Action!