Introduction to UDL online module

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UDL challenges the notion of the ‘average learner’ and highlights the risk that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to instructional design actually fits no one at all and leads to disengagement. A core feature of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is giving ownership to the learner by providing flexibility and choice in the way they can access materials and demonstrate their knowledge. This introduction to UDL will give you insight into how you can meet the diverse needs of learners in your schools and classrooms in both an efficient and effective way.

You will also get to experience the impact of UDL firsthand as this module has been designed for you by applying the principles of UDL. We recognise that everyone who signs up for this module will vary in their background knowledge and in the way they like to interact with resources. We have intentionally built in choice and flexibility to give you control over the way you want to work through the module.

Module Objectives:

By the end of this module you will:

  • understand UDL as a research-based framework that can be used to improve teaching and learning for all
  • understand that learner variability is predictable and can be planned for
  • recognise barriers to learning within the learning environment
  • understand the importance of choice and flexibility in designing teaching, learning and assessment materials.
Structure of the module:

The module has been divided into 4 lessons each comprising a number of topics, designed for you to work through sequentially.

Lesson 1: Learner Variability

  • Background to UDL
  • What is UDL and why do we need it?
  • Meeting the needs of “all”
  • UDL and the learning brain

Lesson 2: The UDL Guidelines

  • Structure of the UDL guidelines
  • Expert learners
  • Separate the goal from the means
  • UDL and evidence-based practice

Lesson 3: Barriers in the Learning Environment

  • Knowing your learners
  • Identifying barriers

Lesson 4: Design for Variability

  • Intentional design
  • UDL in practice
  • Test your UDL knowledge

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