Universal Design for Learning (UDL) UDL considers the needs of all learners by embedding lessons with multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation and multiple means of action and expression (Cast, 2018). Engagement impacts a student’s motivation to learn by enabling learners to engage with the material in a variety of ways. Representation refers to the way learners perceive and understand material using different means of representation to align with different learning preferences. Action and expression enables learners to express what they know in alternative ways that work best for them. In short, UDL provides a way to consider the needs of all learners by providing students with a choice of how and what they learn.
Differentiated Instruction In addition to UDL, differentiated instruction enables additional opportunities for more students to be successful. It is a process of teaching and learning students of differing abilities in the same class where teachers consider learners’ readiness, interest and learning preferences to adapt various elements of the curriculum (Tomlinson, 2014). Differentiation can occur through one or more of the following ways: “the content of learning (what is being learned); the process of learning (the types of activities); the products of learning (ways learning is demonstrated); or the environment of learning (where learning takes place)” (OME, 2013, p. 17)
UDL and Differentiated Strategies Although many of the UDL and differentiated instructional strategies in this library have been aligned with specific subjects and provincial curriculum strands, these strategies are interchangeable with many subjects and topics simply by changing the content within each lesson. The initial sample lessons can be viewed without registration to Study Smart and new lessons will be available each month for registered teachers of Study Smart.
Lessons to meet the needs of all learners
The strategy lessons in this library have been created by teachers for teachers using evidence based sources or based on teachers real experiences. They have specifically been designed to align with the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) and differentiated instruction to meet the diverse learning needs of all students in the classroom.