Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences, including cognitive neuroscience, that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences.
Recognizing that the way individuals learn can be unique, and the UDL framework, calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:
- Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
- Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and
- Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.
Curriculum, as defined in the UDL literature, has four parts: instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments. UDL is intended to increase access to learning by reducing physical, cognitive, intellectual, and organizational barriers to learning, as well as other obstacles. UDL principles also lend themselves to implementing inclusionary practices in the classroom.