Engaging Students: How to Engage Students Through Universal Design for Learning (Easily)


How to Engage Students Through Universal Design for Learning (Easily)


The basic idea behind Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is that you provide options for your students—options for how you get students interested, provide material, or ask them to practice or demonstrate learning. The three main UDL Principles are:

  • Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge.
  • Multiple means of expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know.
  • Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation.

One of the ways you can use UDL to meet students’ diverse needs is utilizing the “Plus One” approach. Plus One means adding just one new option to your course in any of the UDL principle areas.  Using the Plus One approach allows you to make small, less resource-intensive changes to your courses that can have a big impact on your students’ educational experience. What’s more, YSU has many technology tools to make these Plus One changes easy! Here are a few ideas:

Universal Design for Learning Principle, Plus One Idea, YSU Tech Tools to Support UDL 

UDL Principle Plus One Idea YSU Tech Tools to Support UDL

Multiple Means of Representation

Often the easiest place to start.

Use Webex during class lectures in order to produce live-captioning for students (don’t need to record!). This could help students with hearing impairments or English language learners
Multiple Means of Expression Allow students choice in the modality of their assignment. For example, allow students to record a video or create a podcast on a topic instead of a paper.
Multiple Means of Engagement Ask students to reflect on their learning mid-semester and set goals for the rest of the term.


Additional resources to help incorporate UDL in your courses:


This article was provided by the Institute for Teaching and Learning, Youngstown State University.

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Article ID: 161741
Wed 5/1/24 2:15 PM
Wed 5/1/24 2:41 PM