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Three principles of UDL

Three principles of UDL

Author: Ashley Sweatt

In this lesson, you will learn about the three main principles that underlie Universal Design for Learning.

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Three Principles of UDL

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Hi, my name is Ashley. And today's lesson is titled "Three Principles of UDL." In today's lesson, we will review the UDL learning approach and look at the three principles of UDL. UDL is the Universal Design by Learning. It's a way of instruction that allows students to receive effective learning. If you recall, we said that UDL takes its philosophy from the field of architecture. Just like an architect would make all the necessary planning to a blueprint to accommodate all, teachers make room for modifications during the planning process as well.

There are three principles that make up UDL. Let's take a look at principal I. Principle I of UDL is providing multiple means of representation. Teachers should provide a medley of learning approaches. There is no one-size-fits-all for education. Teachers must present information in multiple ways. That might include audible information or hands-on learning activities. Providing multiple means of representation consist of perception, language expression and symbols, and comprehension. These will be addressed more specifically with instructional guidelines in future lessons.

Principal II of UDL is providing multiple means of action and expression. Teachers should allow students to present their knowledge in a variety of ways. Just like students learn differently, they also will express what they know differently. Students may perform what they learned or create an object to present their knowledge, as long as what they have chosen involves strategic thinking, and organization of thoughts, and practice for fluency. This also means breaking away from traditional forms of assessments. Also consider the different types of learning styles-- auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. Students can express themselves best in the way they learn best.

The third principle of UDL is providing multiple means of engagement. Students should be engaged through different avenues. What may have engaged you as a learner may not engage your current students. And what engaged your students last year may not engage the students you have this year. Teachers should have a repertoire of different ways to engage students in order to keep them motivated to learn. Engagement can take place through collaboration and student choice.

Let's recap what we have learned in today's lesson. We talked about how UDL is a learning approach that allows students to receive effective instruction, very similar to architecture, in the way that there is a plan that makes room for modifications early on. Next, we looked at the three principles of UDL. Principle i, providing multiple means of representation, means having a variety of learning approaches. Principle II, providing multiple means of action and expression, means allowing students to present their knowledge in a variety of ways. And lastly, principal III-- providing multiple means of engagement means engaging students through different avenues.

As we close the lesson, think about how you can use these three principles to provide diverse learning opportunities for your students. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on "Three Principles of UDL"


(00:00 - 00:12) Introduction

(00:13 - 00:23) What will you learn today?

(00:24 - 00:54) What is UDL?

(00:55 - 01:31) Principle I: Providing Multiple Means of Representation

(01:32 - 02:18) Principle II: Providing Multiple Means of Action and Expression

(02:19 - 02:51) Principle III: Providing Multiple Means of Engagement

(02:52 - 03:38) What did you learn today?

(03:39 - 04:04) Reflection


Additional Resources

Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT): Applications of Universal Design

DO-IT is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to share strategies and resources on Universal Design, promoting the development of accessible products and environments. This website includes guidance documents and training materials relevant to UDL.