The future of UDL is likely to be shaped by advances in technology. As newer and more sophisticated tools become available, it will be increasingly easy to provide learners with customized instruction that meets their individual needs. In addition, as our understanding of how people learn grows, we will be better able to design educational experiences that maximize learning for all learners. Ultimately, however, the future of UDL depends on our willingness to embrace it. How do we ensure that the future is intentionally planned in a way that achieves the outcomes we hope for? It is up to each of us to answer that question.
Learning environments have seen such a shift over the past few years that it begs the question, "what's next for UDL and how do we see it evolving from here?"
We invited Steve Nordmark, Director of Business Development at CAST and James Basham, Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas and Senior Director for Learning & Innovation at CAST, to find out.
The development of the UDL Guidelines is ongoing. Based on new findings from research and developments in educational best practices, the framework will continue to evolve. For example, in version 1.0 of the UDL Guidelines, the Representation Principle was listed first. In version 2.0, the Engagement Principle is listed first. That shift reflected the understanding of the central role of engagement for learning that both researchers and practitioners recognize.
Currently, CAST is working on a community-driven initiative to explore the UDL Guidelines through an equity lens. This UDL Rising to Equity process will inform other updates to the UDL Guidelines. As technologies and resources continue to innovate the ways in which we interact and communicate globally, UDL provides a framework to design for access, engagement, and participation for every individual.
When we speak to our UDL colleagues, we often ask them what the next big thing is for the UDL and the community it serves, and there’s always some pretty exciting responses.
UDL is not going away but as we move forward, I think that, the field's going to have to move towards more social-emotional development, the soft skills of learning. And I think it's what you do with it in the most human of ways, how do you connect with other people, that's going to be what we see in the next five years.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has an enormous potential to positively impact the learning experience of all learners. Learn more about building the case for applying universal design for learning at your institution.
Discover how to start implementing UDL principles today and create inclusive learning environments for all.
Understand how to use UDL to promote equity, enhance flexibility, increase efficiency, and improve learning outcomes.
Take a look at the UDL guidelines, developed by CAST and how they were conceived.