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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an important educational framework to consider for postsecondary education. Thoughtful planning through the lens of UDL can offer important options for learners as they navigate a range of college or career postsecondary opportunites.
We know that students are incredibly diverse in their learning needs, preparation, and approaches. UDL offers a practical instructional method to anticipate this learner variability and provide every student with equal opportunities to learn.
UDL is also an effective means for shaping learning experiences outside the classroom, such as online instruction, hands-on learning, or work-study experiences.
CAST has launched a web site called UDL On Campus: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. This web site offers resources geared toward multiple stakeholders in postsecondary institutions to help them use the UDL principles to address learner variability in order to improve learning opportunities, retention, and outcomes. The web site focuses on the application of UDL across five areas: (1) Assessment, (2) Improving Institutional Policies and Practices, (3) Selecting Media and Technology, (4) Planning Your Course, and (5) Teaching Approaches.
Boston College has a long tradition in the field of UDL. Several courses taught by Dr. Richard Jackson have adopted the UDL framework. In 2009, Boston College Lynch School of Education received a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a postdoctoral program in UDL leadership in collaboration with CAST. Each summer, the Lynch School hosts a UDL leadership colloquium for advanced graduate students. Boston College also has a university-wide taskforce to promote UDL implementation across the campus.
Take a look at a traditional college text-based article used at Harvard University by Dr. Thomas M. Skrtic entitled The Special Education Paradox: Equity as the Way to Excellence that has been re-created with UDL features through CAST Bookbuilder. Dig deeper into the CAST UDL Book Builder collections.
Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology (EnACT) has developed a successful model of implementing UDL across several colleges throughout California. In its early development, these thoughtful planners organized a model of support through a UDL faculty learning community. Read more about how their model has expanded to a UDL Universe.
Take a closer look at how UDL is being embraced by the entire community at the University of Vermont. Listen to conversations from the President, faculty and students who share their perspectives on how UDL is making a difference in how they consider, provide, and access education. Read more about UDL at UVM.
In this article, LaRocco and Wilken (2013) describe the results of a survey administered to university faculty regarding their understanding and use of UDL and offers recommendations for ways to support faculty application of the nine UDL Guidelines. Read the article.
In this example, Dr. Don Glass uses the software tool CAST UDL Book Builder to design an online course module to teach a series entitled Curriculum Design for Inclusive Arts Teaching and Learning. This course has been included in the growing collection at Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons.
The Florida Consortium on Postsecondary Education and Intellectual Disabilities offers a new online module on UDL for higher education faculty. It is hosted by the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (USFSP), which is the lead institution in this consortium focused on transition programs supporting students with intellectual disabilities in higher education.
Take a closer look at how several institutions of higher education are considering the UDL framework for their campuses:
Last Updated: 06/26/2014