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UDL Learning Guidelines

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a way of thinking about teaching and learning in order to give all students an equal opportunity for success. UDL provides flexibility in the ways students access and engage with materials and show what they know.

Learning Guidelines


Affective Networks: The why of learning, for purposeful, motivated learners, stimulate interest and motivation for learning.

Engagement Options to Provide

Recruiting Interest
  • Optimize individual choice and autonomy
  • Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity
  • Minimize threats and distractions
Sustaining Effort and Persistence
  • Heighten salience of goals and objectives
  • Vary demands and resources to optimize challenge
  • Foster collaboration and community
  • Increase mastery-oriented feedback

Self Regulation

  • Promote expectations and beliefs that optimize motivation
  • Facilitate personal coping skills and strategies
  • Develop self-assessment and reflection


Recognition Networks: The what of learning, for resourceful, knowledgeable learners, present information and content in different ways.

Representation Options to Provide

  • Offer ways of customizing the display of information
  • Offer alternatives for auditory information
  • Offer alternatives for visual information
Language and Symbols
  • Clarify vocabulary and symbols
  • Clarify syntax and structure
  • Support decoding of text, mathematical notation, and symbols
  • Promote understanding across languages
  • Illustrate through multiple media


  • Activate or supply background knowledge
  • Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships
  • Guide information processing and visualization
  • Maximize transfer and generalization

Action and Expression

Strategic Networks: The how of learning, for strategic, goal-directed learners, differentiate the ways that students can express what they know.

Action and Expression Options to Provide

Physical Action
  • Vary the methods for response and navigation
  • Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies
Expression and Communication
  • Use multiple media for communication
  • Use multiple tools for construction and composition
  • Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance

Executive Functions

  • Guide appropriate goal-setting
  • Support planning and strategy development
  • Facilitate managing information and resources
  • Enhance capacity for monitoring progress


UDL Resources