In any given classroom, there are invariably learners who simply don’t connect with what’s being taught. Lectures can be easy to tune out. A textbook can feel dense and boring to finish. Even a video can pose limitations for learners with sight or hearing difficulties. When these are the only options available, some learners are bound to fall behind without requesting special support, while others will surge ahead. Differentiation is one way to bridge this gap, and another is adapting the curriculum to suit all learners, instead of adjusting it to support the needs of each one.
That latter approach, called Universal Design for Learning (UDL), operates under a handful of broad principles that mainly concern themselves with the what, how and why of learning.
UDL – Universal Design for Learning promises to help us design so our curriculum can ‘suit all learners’. This is a lucid overview of an essential design principle.