Chapter 2

The UDL Guidelines for Educators

Before diving deeper into the UDL Guidelines, it's important to reflect on why UDL is so necessary. The three UDL principles were designed to ensure that all students become expert learners. If you'd like to learn more about what it means to be an expert learner, check out a video explanation (14 min), with an embedded Google Slideshow to help clarify what it means to be an expert learner.

Now, back to UDL Now! Chapter 2 focuses on the UDL Guidelines, which are teaching strategies that are necessary to meet the needs of all learners. It's easier to appreciate the Guidelines when you realize the variability among your own PLC group.

To provide an analogy, you’re going to complete an activity to prove how different you all are.

Here’s the question: What is your favorite shoe and why? Choose one of the following activities and complete in the space below:

  • Write a short paragraph about your favorite shoe.
  • Write an ode to your favorite shoe.
  • With colored pencils, pens, or pencils, draw a picture of your favorite shoe.
  • If you have no artistic ability and no idea what to draw, pretend the following is your favorite shoe and color it. 

When finished, share your favorite shoe with the group and note how different you all are. Imagine you were all forced to wear the same shoe... how would you feel? Know, also consider why being an expert learning is important when choosing the perfect shoes for yourself!

Second, complete one or all of the following activities. 

  • Watch the video UDL at a Glance.
  • Read more detailed information about the UDL Guidelines from CAST's website. 
  • Watch the Rose and Rose video that defines learner variability, Learner Variability and Universal Design for LearningThroughout the video, there will be checkpoints for discussion, pause the video and discuss these points. Note: You can watch the video, view the powerpoint slides, or print out the transcript to read.
  • Read this short summary of “What is UDL?”. When finished reading, reflect on the following question: How do you think each of these areas of the brain affects your own learning? Think about what you recognize in your environment, how you act upon it, and why you act upon it.

The UDL Guidelines help all students to become expert learners. To learn more about what it means to be an expert learner, explore some of the resources that follow.