Eureka and Middle School Math · UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Professional Development with a UDL Lens–Specific Guidelines

success-413093_1920.jpgIn an earlier post, I challenged myself to identify the big-picture questions I think drive professional development work that specifically looks at using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to strengthen curriculum.  In this post, I share how some specific UDL Guidelines might look in professional development.  As I thought about the request to discuss how I specifically use the UDL Guidelines to drive the work of revising curriculum, the following Guidelines jumped out at me as good places to begin this work–they offer clear and actionable steps that teachers could use to get started.

Optimize individual choice and autonomy (7.1)A first step, although only a starting place in Universal Design for Learning, is offering options. 

Actionable PD step:  

  • Have teachers determine places where they can offer access to the high-quality curriculum materials but through a variety of options.  
  • Give time for teachers to create these materials in a student-friendly form (i.e., hyperdocs, Google Classroom posts, etc.).


Develop self-assessment and reflection (9.3):  Getting students to a place where they are the ones driving their learning requires providing time for students to engage in self-reflection.  

Actionable PD step:  

  • Have teachers research self-reflection tools that are already created.  
  • Have teachers identify questions they want to gather student data to answer and give them time to create student-ready materials (surveys, Google Forms, exam wrappers, etc.) that give students opportunities to reflect on their learning and growth.


Provide Options for Perception (1)This is a huge one for me–I believe in making a variety of resources available students at all times so they can access material on their own when they are not engaged in direct instruction with me and so that they can access material that is in a format that best meets their needs.  

Actionable PD step:  

  • Give teachers time to research, identify, collect, and organize additional high-quality resources.  
  • Provide time for teachers to create student-ready materials that are organized and well structured.  
  • Encourage teachers to develop a format that works for them that they can use repeatedly with different content.


ipad-820272_1920.jpgOptimize access to tools and assistive technologies (4.2):   Again, notice the emphasis on empowering students to make the choices.

Actionable PD step:  

  • Provide teachers with time to explore technology supports that they can make available to all students to choose from.  Encourage teachers to develop tools or questions they can use with students to help students determine what tools would best meet their needs and why.

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