What is Universal Design in Tertiary Education?

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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in tertiary education refers to a framework for developing flexible learning environments and materials that can accommodate different learning styles, abilities, disabilities, and other needs among diverse students.

What is Universal Design in Tertiary Education?

  • Multiple means of representation – Presenting course content in different formats like text, audio, video, hands-on activities, etc. to reach students with diverse learning preferences.
  • Multiple means of action and expression – Allowing students alternative ways to demonstrate their knowledge such as exams, papers, projects, presentations, etc. to suit different strengths and challenges.
  • Multiple means of engagement – Using various techniques to stimulate interest, motivation, and active participation from all students such as offering choices, incorporating relevant examples, using peer learning, providing ongoing feedback, etc.
  • Flexibility in use – Building adaptability and adjustability into curriculum and instruction so they can be customized for individual student needs and preferences. Examples include allowing flexible deadlines, providing lecture notes and recordings, allowing assistive devices or support services in class activities.
  • Simple and intuitive experiences – Designing streamlined materials, resources, tools and spaces that are easy for all students to understand and navigate independently. This includes physical spaces, digital platforms, or instruction itself.

The goal is to anticipate diversity in learners and develop learning environments with low barriers where all students can access, participate in, and demonstrate learning successfully. It aims for equity and inclusion in education.


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