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Universal Design for Learning

Learning Objectives

Three concentric circles that contain keywords for the course. The centre circle is white and reads “Learners.” This is surrounded by a circle that contains labels for the three UDL principles with their matching colours: “Representation” with a purple background, “Action & Expression” with a blue background, and “Engagement” with a green background. These labels are arranged around the circle and appear to cycle one into the other. The ring around these UDL principles contains labels for other frameworks that can partner with UDL From top centre and moving clockwise, these read: “Accessibility,” “Anti-oppression,” “Intersectionality,” “Critical digital pedagogy,” and “Anti-racism.” On the outside of this ring are three other words. These read (clockwise from top right): “Future Vision,” “Decolonize Curriculum,” and “Community.”

Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Explore the impact of barriers on diverse student engagement.
  2. Develop learning spaces that welcome and engage learners’ interests and lived experiences.Opens in a new window
  3. Analyze the importance of social inclusionOpens in a new window and intersectionalityOpens in a new window in learning environments.
  4. Identify strategies for promoting active participation and motivation in diverse learning contexts and spaces.
  5. Reflect on how curriculumOpens in a new window design and teaching practice can engage diverse learners.

In this module, we will focus on the ways learners are connected to, make meaning of, and feel about their learning experiences and environments. The UDL principle of Multiple Means of Engagement (the "why" of learning) looks at how learners appraise their learning: “How does this fit with my goals, values, and experiences? Is this good for me, bad for me, exciting, frightening, supportive, or threatening? Am I relaxed, interested, at risk?” These appraisals determine how learners feel engaged and how they are motivated to pursue challenges. All learning is influenced by this highly individualized affective filter.

This UDL principle also has a very important connection to anti-oppressiveOpens in a new window frameworks and decolonizingOpens in a new window educational systems. An institution’s or instructor’s values are modelled through the pedagogical choices that are made, and thus, inform the engagement experience.

As in the previous module, we welcome you to continue to reflect on your UDL practice through reflection prompts and any other ideas that come to mind as you explore the module’s content and activities.


Why is it important for learners to feel engaged in learning?

Next chapterThe Engagement Principle