Implement the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework by Providing Learners with Options for How to Express What They Know

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Research has shown that by providing learners with choices in learning, it can increase their intrinsic motivation and overall performance on an educational assessment (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). Furthermore, it is essential to provide learners with educational options to diversify the ways in which they are able to express what they know (CAST, 2018). For instance, some learners might prefer a different expression mode with discussion responses such as written text while others might choose to express themselves through spoken posts.

Creating equitable options may require additional time and planning. Instructors should check to ensure that each assessment option aligns with the intended module-level and course-level learning objectives. If the objective states that students will be able to discuss a topic, the instructor might provide various options for how students discuss (e.g. using text, speech, or video). However, the content of each of the discussions, regardless of format, should align to the specified objective(s).

Link to example artifact(s)

The distance learning course Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for Diversity and Inclusion models the practice of providing learners with options for assignment submission. Consider the assignment for which students are asked to create or revise an organization’s mission statement to align with the UDL framework. The assignment instructions provide options for the format of the mission statement, for example a written text statement, or an audio or video statement.

Universal Design for Learning Mission Statement Assignment

Link to scholarly reference(s)

CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: A meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 270-300.


Archer, A., & Ehrlich, S. (2018). Implement the universal design for learning (udl) framework by providing learners with options for how to express what they know. In B. Chen, A. deNoyelles, & A. Albrecht (Eds.), Teaching online pedagogical repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning.

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