Universal Design for Learning

One of our teachers was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2012 CAEPA (Colorado Adult Education Professional Association) conference.

Per the scholarship requirements, she compiled her notes from the very best sessions for the rest of you!


Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design is set of guidelines that allows us to think about the widest range of people’s abilities, to the greatest extent possible. For more information, visit this website.

Nine Principles of UDL:

–          Equitable Use – Honor the experiences of your students. Remember that our students are adults and they bring a lot of life skills context to language learning.

–          Flexibility in Use – Meet students’ needs, meeting them where they are, and not expecting them to be something they are not.

–          Simple and Intuitive – Activities shouldn’t take too much explanation.

–          Perceptible Information – The information that you provide should be open and always available. We do not want our students to not know how to find information when we are not there.

–          Tolerance for error – Some errors should be fixed later, rather than in the moment.

–          Low physical effect – Be conscious of any physical limitations that students may have.

–          Size and Space – Be conscious of creating a positive learning environment for your students. The definition of “positive”, of course, will depend on your specific students. Be open to the space looking and feeling different than what you may expect.

–          Community of learners – Create an environment where everyone is part of the learning community.

–          Instructional Climate – Provide a space that is emotionally comfortable. Students should use what they know. Allow them to talk about themselves in the context of language learning.