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Universal Design for Learning in Tertiary Education

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a learning design approach that recognises there is no ‘average’ learner. Learners come with a wide variety of prior experiences, abilities, preferences and needs. Courses are often designed for the ‘average’ learner, then individualised adjustments are added as required to support learners with additional needs. A UDL approach requires course design to consider the broadest possible range of needs and preferences of all learners. UDL reduces the need for reasonable adjustments and enhances the experience of all learners, including those with disability.

Overview of Program

This e-Learning program is designed for educational staff working in Higher Education and the Vocational Education and Training sector. It focuses on UDL in tertiary education. It aims to increase your understanding of designing, developing and implementing UDL within your teaching practice.

There are 4 modules in this program. We strongly advise you to undertake the modules in successive order to optimise your understanding of UDL in practice.

You can work through the program at your own pace and do not need to complete it in one sitting. You can log out and log back in at any time. You should be able to complete all 4 modules in approximately 90-120 minutes. A short quiz after each module is a good checkpoint for your understanding. A certificate of achievement is awarded upon successful completion of all 4 modules.​

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, you should be able to:

  • outline the Universal Design (UD) principles and the UDL framework
  • demonstrate and apply knowledge of contemporary UDL practices and approaches in tertiary settings
  • apply UDL strategies in practice.

Language and Terminology

There is a range of language and terminology used in each state/territory. The terms below are used in this learning program to mean the following:

  • Tertiary providers: universities, colleges, adult community education providers, TAFE and other registered training organisations
  • Learners: tertiary education and training participants
  • Learners with disability: including ongoing or temporary health and medical conditions
  • Educators: teachers, lecturers, tutors, trainers and assessors
  • Courses: subjects, units, units of competency, modules and programs
  • Curriculum: training packages, qualifications, units of competency, learning objectives and outcomes, course requirements
  • Universal Design for Learning: Universal Design for Instruction, Universal Design for Education, Universal Design for Teaching

There is a glossary of terms [DOCX 41KB] that you can refer to at any time during the training. You can also download or print this document for future reference.

External Links

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The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) provided funding for the development of this e-Learning program. It is a partnership with the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program and the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) in collaboration with TAFE SA. This project was overseen by an advisory committee and would not have been possible without the support and efforts of many tertiary practitioners and professionals. We extend our sincere thanks to all those who participated and contributed [DOCX 31KB].