Eastern Michigan University

Essential Qualities of Universal Design for Learning

Representation

  • Course content offers various methods of Representation.
  • Universally designed course content provides alternative representations of essential concepts. Various methods of representation can allow the student to learn the information in their preferred means.
  • Example: Placing course notes on the web allows students to gain the information by lecture and text. Additionally, a student with a visual impairment could tape record the lecture to capture the notes in alternative format.

Engagement

  • Course content offers various methods of Engagement.
  • Universally designed course content maintains varied skill levels, preferences, and interests by allowing for options. By having flexible teaching strategies and course content, students can choose methods that support their interest and skill levels.
  • Example: When teaching a foreign language, students could choose from a variety of on-line options that would allow them to practice fluency and comprehension at a reading level that is appropriate for them.

Expression

  • Course content offers various methods of Expression.
  • Universally designed course content allows for alternate methods of expression. This allows the student multiple means of demonstrating mastery of material.
  • Example: Allowing students to demonstrate knowledge on a subject by doing an oral presentation or writing a paper or taking a test. Students with a speech impediment may be unable to present the information orally, while students with a fine motor disability may have difficulty taking a written exam.

 

Adapted from Fast Facts for Faculty

 

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