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UDL On Campus · Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

Course Design

About This Section

This section describes how to plan and design for the variability present in today's postsecondary classrooms. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that incorporates flexibility into the curriculum from the outset in order to avoid time-consuming retrofitting after the fact. UDL helps faculty members and instructional designers plan their curriculum in ways that reduce barriers to learning and facilitate meaningful participation by all students.

UDL Syllabus

This resource outlines how to design a UDL-oriented syllabus that includes a variety of options for how information will be presented for a course, how students will be assessed, and how students will engage with the course curriculum.

Learning Goals

This resource will describe how the UDL framework can help transform learning goals from their traditional role in curriculum planning as mere content or performance markers to become active facilitators that help students become more strategic, resourceful, and motivated.

Emotion and Learning

This resource provides an introduction to the ways in which instructors can apply UDL to educational activities in order to address the interplay between emotion and learning.

UDL and Assessment

This resource describes how to apply the principles of UDL to postsecondary assessments to help identify and minimize construct-irrelevant barriers in order to increase the relevance and accuracy of assessment measures.

Executive Functioning

This resource addresses the tools and design strategies that currently exist in the online learning environment that can support students who struggle with executive functioning—i.e., the cognitive processes that are involved in goal setting, planning, and organization.

Social Learning

This resource explores how UDL can support the social learning that is tied to academic engagement and professional preparation.

Blended Courses

This resource discusses the use of UDL in postsecondary courses that are designed using a combination of face-to-face sessions, synchronous sessions, and asynchronous spaces.

Case-Based Learning

This resource provides information and examples on how to use UDL when developing and teaching real-world cases.

Working with Industry Partners

This resource discusses the ways in which industry partners and instructors can collaborate on course development to create authentic, engaging scenarios that enable students to learn skills in the context of a profession.

Using LMS Data to Inform Course Design

The resource will also discuss how instructors and course developers can consider specific data elements in the context of the three UDL principles, and how these data elements can be used to make improvements to the learning environment.


UDL is an educational approach based on the learning sciences with three primary principles—multiple means of representation of information, multiple means of student action and expression, and multiple means of student engagement.


A syllabus is an outline of the key parts of a course and includes important information about policies, dates, assignments, and assessments.


Assessment is the process of gathering information about a learner’s performance using a variety of methods and materials in order to determine learners’ knowledge, skills, and motivation for the purpose of making informed educational decisions.

executive functioning

Executive functioning refers to a set of cognitive capabilities, associated with the prefrontal cortex in the brain, that allow humans to overcome impulsive, short-term reactions to their environment and to instead set long-term goals, plan effective strategies for reaching those goals, monitor their progress, and modify strategies as needed.

industry partners

Industry partners, in this context, are individual professionals, groups, or businesses with specialized knowledge about a particular area or field, who provide expertise and support.