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A snapshot of the UDL Guidelines

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Started by Roxy Hickman 19 Mar 2014 9:58pm () Replies (2)

I would like to share with you this video from English Online to make links back to some of the nine UDL guidelines. The HoD of English at Tamaki College in Auckland talks about how access to online writing environments are impacting on student’s production of writing. This is one section of a longer video that can be viewed as part of a story on Tamaki College’s approach to differentiation.

HOD English Tamaki College

Video: English HOD Reflection - Choices

Overlaying the UDL Guidelines

The lessons described in the video were not planned for using UDL. However, by using this as an example to overlay the guidelines, we can reflect on how this work could easily lend itself to universal design from the outset.

It is also not to say that you need to meet all of the guidelines all of the time, the aim of this example is simply to see how current practice in New Zealand classrooms have many elements of universal design. With a nudge in the UDL direction we can design inclusively for ALL learners.

I have pulled statements from the video and matched them to specific indicators to help breakdown the UDL framework. Of course this only captures a snapshot of teacher voice and other feedback may provide examples of other ways that the UDL Guidelines relate to this particular piece of work. 

The UDL Guidelines

UDL Guidelines - brief

Source: http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines 


Examples of UDL from the video



“The internet has allowed students to find exemplars of different types of work, not only in writing but visual texts” 


UDL Guideline 7&8


“The students can look at what are we being asked to do here, what are the possibilities? This year we are seeing kids who are putting together picture books, websites, visual presentations."

"It’s challenging the students.”

 “It increases the importance of their writing… it’s online and can be accessed by them and their families at any time”

 “We can work alongside them… and the students are really responsive to that” 


UDL Guideline 9 


“[the students are] spending a lot more time in the care and the presentation of their work” 


UDL Guideline 4


“to physically work on that [piece of writing] and to write it on a piece of refill  was an event… we knew it was a draft, where they thought it was a final copy.”


UDL Guideline 7

 “At the end of the process we would then give [the assignment] back to them with lots of comments and lots of highlights on it and that was really demotivating for our students”

UDL Guideline 5

“We can access them as they are writing and work with them… the students are seeing that writing is not an event it’s a process”



UDL Guidelines 5&6




“We are seeing that the achievement is going up… because of the process and because of the kids enthusiasm” 

“We can confidently say this kids has these specific learning needs to be able to move them up”


We can look at a lesson and retro-fit ways to incorporate UDL


We can make a shift in our thinking towards planning from the outset to redesign with UDL in mind


 Have a go at applying the UDL Guidelines on one of your units of work or individual lessons. Here are some questions for reflection: 
  • What are you are already doing that incorporates some of the UDL guidelines? How does this benefit your students?
  • Are there some guidelines that you find easier to consider more than others when you are planning? What impact might this have on your students?
  • What areas of the framework do you feel would help develop your practice further? Why is this important for your students?
  • With this in mind, how will you go about using the framework in designing future learning for your students?


I would love to hear more of your stories about how you have used (or intend to use) the UDL Guidelines and the impact on learners.


To learn more about the UDL Guidelines:

UDL center - Guidelines

UDL center - Implementation examples

UDL Guidelines - Educator Worksheet



  • linda Ojala (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2014 11:43am ()
    Thanks for making the connections with UDL. It was helpful to look at the guidelines and then connect with the examples.
    I particularly liked the comment, "We can access them as they are writing and work with them… the students are seeing that writing is not an event it’s a process”  

     In my context, my year 3 students love it when I pop on line into their document while they are writing. We can have a converstation and talk about "where to" or " new ideas".  Using Google Docs to do this is a great "just in time" teaching tool.  I've found it encourages "engagment" we often have a few laughs across the room and they really don't see the chat back as continuing to develop their writing!Smile


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