Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Today I attended a short toolkit run by Mark Maddren on 'Universal Design for learning' (UDL). I have to admit I hadn't heard of UDL before, (I know, another b****y acronym to remember!) but quickly realised it was giving a name to a current revelation I am having in the classroom. I've always known the old saying, "if a child can't learn the way we teach, we need to teach the way they learn", but recently it has become blatantly obvious.

One particular child has been like a totally different kid this term. He's engaged, motivated and having real success as a learner unlike ever before and, as a bonus, his general behaviour has improved significantly! The key to this new child? A personal passion, typing, positive communication and hands on activities! To me, this child pretty much sums up the importance of UDL!

UDL is basically a framework for teaching and learning with the main purpose being that everyone is a successful learner. It's around designing learning experiences that are universal and allows everyone to learn, not just the 'average' student.

UDL is based on 3 principles about what research tell us learning really is, the way we pick up information,the way we express and act on information, and our level of engagement.

There are four main components:
Goals: What we need/want to teach; what's important
Materials: the key to learning, what materials will be used to help with this learning
Methods of teaching: how we go about teaching
Means of assessment: how we are sure learning has occurred.

The great thing is I have a third year student on full control so I have a bit of breathing space to learn more about UDL and use this to complement the Learn, Create, Share model we are currently incorporating and developing into our classroom programme.


  1. Love the title of your blog Miss Weaver! I concur completely with your comments about learning and how UDL compliments good teaching practice by providing an explicit teaching and learning framework that dovetails with Learn Create Share. I look forward to following your journey!

  2. What a huge responsibility on us as teachers and a way to stretch our limits of thinking and management!

  3. Btw... I do love your blog title too!


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