Universal Design for Learning is a research-based curriculum design approach that recognizes and accommodates the tremendous variability and diversity of learners. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 defined and endorsed UDL as “a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that: (A) 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 (B) 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.”
“In the past decade, numerous institutions of higher education, along with the federal government, have invested in the UDL approach as a way to make education more effective, inclusive, and fulfilling for highly variable student populations,” says Joanne Karger, former Research Scientist and Policy Analyst at CAST. “We are pleased to launch UDL On Campus as a public service to help make those investments count by providing additional resources and insights on how best to apply UDL in postsecondary settings.”
Strategies & Solutions
CAST created UDL On Campus, a collection of resources that help postsecondary educators and administrators improve instruction through UDL.
The online resource—provided at no charge to educators—offers educators tutorials and practical resources in UDL theory and practice across five categories:
- Selecting Media and Technology
- Improving Institutional Policies and Practices
- Planning Your Course
- Teaching Approaches
Within each category users can find resources that demonstrate specific ways to address learner variability at the postsecondary level in an effort to improve learning opportunities, retention, and outcomes.
For example, the Assessment resource describes how instructors can offer options to ensure that all learners can demonstrate what they know, and the Selecting Media and Technology resources include guidelines on accessibility for media and Open Educational Resources (OERs).
UDL On Campus was developed as part of CAST’s participation in the Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN), a collaborative that also includes Creative Commons, the Open Learning Initiative at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University, and the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges. Project OPEN was created and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Would you like to help us create more resources like UDL On Campus?
CAST regularly partners with organizations in the public and private sectors to explore challenging questions in education. Our work is made possible by the generous financial support of foundations, corporations, government agencies, and individuals—all partners in the effort to make education more accessible, rewarding, and effective for all through Universal Design for Learning.