Universal Design for Learning Benefits All Learners

Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific and research-based insights into how humans learn. The tenets of UDL support learners across the spectrum of abilities, and at its core align with good teaching practices. UDL addresses three learning networks of the brain including the affective network, the recognition network, and the strategic network. The affective network pertains to how students get engaged and stay motivated relative to learning. The recognition network pertains to how students gather facts and categorize what they see, hear, and read. It impacts how they create a network of new knowledge and connect it with existing knowledge. The strategic network pertains to how students plan and perform tasks such as writing an essay or solving a math problem. For each student, these three networks work uniquely in concert to support their learning.

To bring more awareness to the concepts of universal design for learning, CELT is collaborating with a number of partners across campus to sponsor a series of three workshops on UDL. The first session is October 19, 2015 from 3:10-5:00 in 2019 Morrill Hall and will feature: Sheryl Burgstahler, Director, Disability, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center, University of Washington; Maureen De Armond, Associate Counsel, ISU Office of University Counsel; and Steven Moats, ISU Student Disability Resource Office. Details for the other workshops will be posted soon on the ISU Calendar. We are also in the process of updating our web resources on this topic.

We hope you can join us for these important conversations about the impact of universal design for learning on all of our students.