Universal Design for Learning

What is Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Why is UDL necessary?

Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. Neuroscience reveals that these differences are as varied and unique as our DNA or fingerprints. Three primary brain networks come into play:

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Watch this video to learn more about UDL Guidelines:

How Does UDL Address Curricular Disabilities?

The usual process for making existing curricula more accessible is adaptation of curricula so that they are more accessible to all learners. Often, teachers themselves are forced to make difficult attempts at adapting inflexible "one-size-fits-all" curricular elements that were not designed to meet the variability of individual learners. The term Universal Design for Learning is often mistakenly applied to such after-the-fact adaptations.

However, Universal Design for Learning refers to a process by which a curriculum (i.e., goals, methods, materials, and assessments) is intentionally and systematically designed from the beginning to address individual differences. With curricula that are designed with the principles of UDL, the difficulties and expenses of subsequent "retrofitting" and adaptation of "disabled" curricula can be reduced or eliminated–and a better learning environment can be implemented.

The challenge is not to modify or adapt curricula for a special few, but to do so effectively and from the start. Considerable research already exists that identifies the effective evidence-based practices for learners presently "in the margins". Unfortunately, these best practices have not been available to all learners, and typically are offered only after learners have already failed in mainstream curricula. They are often then provided in separate remedial or special placements where ties to the general curriculum and its high standards have been severed entirely. A UDL curriculum provides the means to repair those severed ties, and promote the inclusion of all learners.

(This section was taken from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlcurriculum/addressdisabledcurricula)

 

If you would like to make your own Prezi or have your students make their own Prezi, visit prezi.com to make one for FREE!!!!

To see a comparison of a traditional lesson to a UDL lesson, click here: The Life Cycle of Plants (Grade 1).

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