#UDLchat: UDL in the Wild

May 1, 2019
Host: Mindy Johnson

A crosswalk pedestrian signal with directions, including text, pictures, a blinking “WAIT”, and an auditory signal when it’s safe to cross the street | Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Our brains are always learning, no matter where we are or what we’re doing; learning is not limited to structured learning environments, such as digital or in-person classrooms. Education professionals work hard to implement Universal Design for Learning in these settings, but examples of UDL exist outside these environments as well. If the goal of UDL is expert learning, then part of becoming an expert learner is recognizing UDL out in the world as informal instances of implicit or explicit instruction.

We often say that once you start to internalize the UDL framework, you start to find UDL everywhere. In other words, you start to discover UDL in the wild.

Last night’s prompts helped us think more explicitly about these moments of UDL and how they support our informal learning:

  • Q1: Describe an example of multiple means of representation that you’ve encountered outside of a typical learning environment.
  • Q2: Describe an example of multiple means of action & expression that you’ve encountered outside of a typical learning environment.
  • Q3: Describe an example of multiple means of engagement that you’ve encountered outside of a typical learning environment.
  • Q4: Choose one of the examples shared (yours or someone else’s) and describe how you’d like to incorporate it into your instructional design.

The chat then developed into a wealth of inspiration and we thought about ways of bringing these wild ideas into our learning environments.

Where have you discovered UDL in the wild? Are there times you wish someone had more carefully and thoughtfully designed instructions or directions or an experience with UDL? Let us know in the comments or add your thoughts to the conversation on Twitter using the #UDLchat hashtag.