Universal Design Checklist

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Do you create a learning environment in which…

ideas and information are represented in multiple ways?

  • Your course syllabus clearly describes the content and your expectations of the students.
  • You present information in multiple formats (e.g., lecture, text, graphics, audio, video, hands-on exercises).
  • You begin each lecture with an outline of what will be covered.
  • You summarize key points throughout the lecture, and tie these points to the larger course objectives.
  • You post electronic equivalents of paper handouts and required reading assignments in alternative formats such as audio and video.
  • You employ technologies (e.g., Clickers, Blackboard) that enhance learning.

students can express their comprehension in multiple ways?

  • You encourage students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in ways other than traditional tests and exams (e.g., written essays, projects, portfolios, journals).
  • Your assessments measure students' achievement of the learning objectives, as they are stated on the syllabus.
  • You incorporate technologies that facilitate class communication and participation.
  • You allow assignments to be submitted electronically.

students have multiple opportunities for engagement?

  • You express enthusiasm for each topic you teach, and explain its real-world significance.
  • You create a class climate in which student diversity is respected.
  • You give prompt and instructive feedback on assignments.
  • You make yourself available to students during office hours in flexible formats (e.g., face-to-face, email, online chat, telephone).

Universal Design for Learning Guidelines

I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation

  1. 1 Perception

    • 1.1 Offer ways of customizing the display of information
    • 1.2 Offer alternatives for auditory information
    • 1.3 Offer alternatives for visual information
  2. 2 Language, expressions, and symbols

    • 2.1 Clarify vocabulary and symbols
    • 2.2 Clarify syntax and structure
    • 2.3 Support decoding text, mathematical notation, and symbols
    • 2.4 Promote understanding across languages
    • 2.5 Illustrate through multiple media
  3. 3 Comprehension

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

Resourceful, knowledgeable learners

II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

  1. 4 Physical action

    • 4.1 Vary the methods for response and navigation
    • 4.2 Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies
  2. 5 Expression and communication

    • 5.1 Use multiple media for communication
    • 5.2 Use multiple tools for construction and composition
    • 5.3 Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance
  3. 6 Executive function

    • 6.1 Guide appropriate goal-setting
    • 6.2 Support planning and strategy development
    • 6.3 Facilitate managing information and resources
    • 6.4 Enhance capacity for monitoring progress
Strategic, goal-directed learners

III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

  1. 7 Recruiting interest

    • 7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy
    • 7.2 Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity
    • 7.3 Minimize threats and distractions
  2. 8 Sustaining effort and persistence

    • 8.1 Heighten salience of goals and objectives
    • 8.2 Vary demands and resources to optimize challenge
    • 8.3 Foster collaboration and communication
    • 8.4 Increase mastery-oriented feedback
  3. 9 Self-regulation

    • 9.1 Promote expectations and beliefs that optimize motivation
    • 9.2 Facilitate personal coping skills and strategies
    • 9.3 Develop self-assessment and reflection
Purposeful, motivated learners