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mLearning: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

(formerly Mobile Learning Fellows Program)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Our faculty have reported amazing things happening in their courses after implementing UDL. The benefits have been positive both for the students and the instructors. UDL is framework based on neuroscience and architecture which can apply to any course. The main goal is remove barriers to learning and to reach all students, no matter what their learning style preferences or background.  

Here are the 3 main principles of UDL: 

  • Representation (more than 1 way to present material):  For example, your material is primarily a textbook, consider proving another way to show the course material like an audio, video, chart, diagram, timeline, key vocabulary, or physical model.You could also present your material via mobile tools like https://bookcreator.com, or
  • Action and expression (more than 1 way for students to show what thy are learning): For instance, if your only assessment is text exams or written essays, students could select another option like giving a presentation, doing a timeline, recording a video, making a poster presentation, or creating a physical model. This universal concept also includes scaffolding and chunking information to help students build understanding.
  • Engagement (more than 1 way to motivate students to learn): For example, including checklists and self-check quizzes can help students measure how they are learning and make goals. Having students reflect about an assignment or exam can emotionally connect them to the material, show the value of the material, and make a connection to something they already know which helps them retain the information.

For more about UDL and a detailed breakdown of each principle and image, visit

Chart contrasting the differences between UDL and traditional education:

UDL image and Higher Ed article at

For UDL training opportunities, see the Library page and click on the Professional Development tab. Then, click on the Professional Development Calendar of Events. 


UDL Resources

Link to the national UDL center: 

Link to UDL in higher ed: 

Introductory video about UDL from national site:

Inside Higher Ed article:

Podcasts about UDL in education:

Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA)The term UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that: (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and  challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.