Universal Design for Learning is a framework that provides educators with a structure to develop their instruction to meet the wide range of diversity among all learners. UDL is a research-based framework that suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to curricula is not effective. UDL was inspired by universal design in architecture, where design features intended for individuals with disabilities have had unexpected benefits for the general population (e.g. curb cut outs designed for wheelchair access have benefits for strollers, rolling luggage, skateboarders, etc.)
A concise definition of Universal Design for Learning was provided by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA)
The term UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:
- provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
- reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient. [HEOA, P.L. 110-315, §103(a)(24)]
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles and techniques for creating inclusive classroom instruction and accessible course materials. At its core is the assertion that all students benefit when they are given multiples ways to take in new information, express their comprehension, and become engaged in learning.
Udemy type courses.
Websites built with accessibility in mind are flexible in meeting different user needs, preferences and situations. Though these methods can increase usability for everyone who uses the Web they are often legally required to be implemented in a specific effort to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities.
Faculty Competencies for Online Teaching
Teaching in an online environment can be considerably different in nature from teaching face-to-face. The competencies listed on this site are intended to provide faculty and administrators with a better understanding of the instructional requirements of online teaching.