Monday, April 8, 2013

The DL on UDL

Recently we have been studying and discussing UDL (Universal Design for Learning) in our cohort class.  In this post, I will give you the down low on UDL.

Sometimes in education we might feel bogged down with acronyms and find that our profession is being reduced to a series of letters to describe what we do.  ("I teach in an IB school, mainly in the MYP years, which does cater well to our LD students, especially if we focus on using UDL and TPACK.")  SOS!

Despite adding yet another acronym to our repertoire, I think you will find that taking a closer look at UDL, even for just a few minutes of your time will be well worth it.

What is UDL?
Here is a great, basic defintion from
Universal Design for Learning
is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

Here is a nice graphic that shows the UDL concept:

To continue building your knowledge of UDL, I would encourage you to create an account on the CAST UDL Lesson Builder site.  Here you will be able to look at model UDL lesson plans that will show well how to take the UDL guidelines and incorporate them into a lesson.  

Also, the site is a valuable resource for understanding UDL.  You can find a basic overview here.
Detailed descriptions of the UDL guidelines and ways to use them in the class room can be found here.

Finally, in the spirit of UDL, I revamped a lesson that I teach in my French 1 class, and tried to look at a variety of ways I could incorporate the UDL guidelines into this lesson.  Please take a look at the lesson here.  (The CAST UDL Lesson Builder site model was used for this lesson.)

Hopefully you will also find these principles intriguing and useful as you continue to revamp your lesson plans to meet the needs of all of our 21st century learners!


  1. Love the awesome ideas with UDL and how you tied it in with food and French! Awesome. I would love to eat some of those steak fries about now. It really appears that you grasped the UDL concept and figured out how to fit it into a lesson. Now does this appear to be something that you can do over a number of lessons or was UDL more of a one-shot type of an activity?

  2. I enjoyed reading how you are incorporating your current teaching into the UDL model, will this add more days for this unit? How do you feel your students will benefit in the classroom setting having these UDL activities? I can't wait to see how this progresses.

  3. Excellent UDL lesson plan! You did a wonderful job of infusing the UDL framework into the lesson. You have really given your students a variety of ways to learn and to express their learning. I'm curious if this lesson took a long time to put together? Will you try to update other lessons also? I've also noticed that my one semester of high school French did not stick with me! :) Looks like I need to enroll in your course!

  4. You included very helpful information about UDL in your post, I am very curious to see how you put French and English together in one lesson plan.