Office of IDEAS
Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. An environment (or any building, product, or service in that environment) should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. This is not a special requirement, for the benefit of only a minority of the population. It is a fundamental condition of good design. If an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone benefits. By considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services and environments that meet peoples' needs. Simply put, universal design is good design.
Here is what you can do right now to make a difference.
- Make sure you are delivering all information and content in more than one way. Yes, if you are delivering information by text, also have a video or voice recording with it too. If you are delivering by Zoom, either with or without students present, also have a text version ready too.
- Recorded Zoom.
- Use resources you find that are already created, but have the same goal or information as your textbook. Google and the Librarians are your friends here.
- Make sure you are asking students/learners to show what they know in more than one way. If you are asking for an essay, also let students choose to share the same information in a video, or a digital poster.
- Smore.com is an excellent digital poster
- Vimeo is a great video creator. As well as Adobe Spark. You do not need to know how to do these, students will figure them out quickly and then share them with you.
- Make sure you attend to student/learner engagement. Check in often! Send an email or message once a day with a bullet pointed summary of what is expected. (Yes, this may seem redundant, do it anyway.) Create a short survey every week for students to let you know where they are at, and how they are feeling.
- Use survey monkey, it’s fun
- Use qualtrics if you are already familiar with it
- Share your own feelings with your students/learners. There are a million memes that can express just about anything you want. Use them!
The Padlet below contains organized resources, including both research and practitioner articles, videos, and graphics on UDL