Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that comprises pedagogy and learning style which gives all students an equal opportunity to succeed, thereby filling the opportunity gap. There are three principles of UDL: engagement, representation, action and expression.

The term was coined by Ron Mace in 1990 at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). This methodology also focuses on metacognition in the classroom. Universal Design provides instructional materials to students in a more flexible manner, increasing student engagement.

The universal design of learning is equally helpful in modern and conventional classrooms; especially in the case of open classrooms where students have different skills and learning styles. Instead of finding one way to teach all kids, UDL talks about different ways for different kids. This gives them personalized learning.

For example, during online lectures, captions or subtitles at the bottom of screen will help students with lack of hearing ability. Letting a student complete the assignment in the manner comfortable to him is also an instance of universal design of learning. This strengthens the student-teacher interaction.

Universal design is increasingly accepted by the proponents of student-centered learning, given its wide scope and relevance in the coming time when the environment will be more virtual than physical.

Tutors who are adapting to the changing times and using universal design approaches to deliver teaching are more successful than the ones who are still in doubt.

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