Getting Started using UDL


UOIT Instructor Kari Kumar discusses UDL and effective teaching (2 minutes).


Female cooking When first getting started it is best to use the UDL guidelines when developing new material. The UDL principles and resources can assist you making decisions about current and new learning materials, lessons, and assessments and curriculum.

For example, if you include a variety of active learning strategies, post notes in multiple formats, and allow students to choose a variety of assessment options in your course you will have implemented some of the principles. These approaches are linked in that they share the same goal of creating curriculum that meets the diverse needs, strengths, and interests of your students to improve overall learning.

You can begin by applying the following questions to your curriculum:

Learning Materials and Activities

  1. Does the course present material in a variety of formats i.e. printed text, lecture, graphics, audio, multimedia etc?
  2. Are key concepts outlined or highlighted for learner?
  3. Is background knowledge supported?
  4. Are learning activities varied i.e. lecture, discussion, group work, collaborative projects, hands-on activities, etc?
  5. Are learners provided choice in selecting learning activities?

Feedback and Assessment

  1. Are learners provided the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways in addition to traditional test and exams i.e. research papers, oral presentations, projects, portfolios etc?
  2. If feedback provided to learners as they are learning (formative feedback) and is in a timely manner?
  3. Is feedback provided to learners in a variety of ways?
  4. Is feedback provided to learners from a variety of perspectives i.e. self, peer and instructor?


Trying to rethink one's curriculum and employing the UDL principles can seem like a daunting task. We encourage you to start small and work your way through your courses. Use the checklists provided below to guide the process. Feel free to get feedback from your students. A more accessible curriculum can benefit all your students.

The materials and methods teachers use can either present students with barriers to understanding or enhance their opportunities to learn. By developing and applying UDL, we can minimize barriers and realize the promise each student brings to school (Rose and Meyer, 2002, p. 8).

A variety of UDL Checklists are available through the CAFE.


Additional Resources:


A checklist for making distance learning programs welcoming and accessible to all students, by Sheryl Burgstahler, PhD

An Educators Checklist by

UID Quick-Start Checklist by the University of Guelph


MERLOT: Video Case studies of UDL in the classroom


Rose, D., Meyer, A., Strangman, N., and Rappolt, G. (2002). Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age. Alexandra, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.