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Universal Design for Learning in Postsecondary Education: Reflections on Principles and their Application

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Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability Volume 19, Number 2,


Authored by the teaching staff of T-560: Meeting the Challenge of Individual Differences at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, this article reflects on potential applications of universal design for learning (UDL) in university courses, illustrating major points with examples from T-560. The article explains the roots of UDL in cognitive neuroscience, and the three principles of UDL: multiple means of representing information, multiple means of expressing knowledge, and multiple means of engagement in learning. The authors also examine the ways UDL has influenced their course goals and objectives, media and materials, teaching methods, and assessment techniques, including discussion groups, lectures, textbooks, and the course website. The authors emphasize the ongoing developmental nature of the course and UDL principles as tools or guidelines for postsecondary faculty, rather than a set of definitive rules. UDL is proposed as a way to address diversity and disabilities as constructs of individuals and their environment in higher education classrooms. (Contains 2 endnotes and 3 figures.)


Rose, D.H., Harbour, W.S., Johnston, C.S., Daley, S.G. & Abarbanell, L. (2006). Universal Design for Learning in Postsecondary Education: Reflections on Principles and their Application. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 19(2), 135-151. Retrieved September 28, 2021 from .

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