Skip to main content

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to education that minimizes barriers and maximizes learning for all students. When faculty approach the curriculum with Universal Design for Learning in mind, they make their classrooms more accessible from the very first day of class.

Many examples of Universal Design that are being used successfully in the classroom are available online. We recommend becoming familiar with the following resources:

  • The National Center on Universal Design for Learning has shared examples and resources on how universal design can be incorporated into your curriculum
  • The University of Washington's DO-IT Center provides principles and examples of universal design
  • Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, founder of the University of Washington's DO-IT Center, edited a free online book, Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices, which provides examples of how Universal Design is currently practiced on campuses nationwide

Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT)

Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) is a progressive Universal Design project that aims to improve college learning and teaching experiences for the benefit of students and faculty. TILT’s transparent teaching methods help students understand how and why they are learning course content in particular ways, resulting in students’ improved academic confidence, stronger sense of belonging in school, and greater awareness that they are mastering skills that future employers will seek. Research by TILT’s founder, Dr. Mary-Ann Winkelmes of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, showed that in a study of 1800 students with 35 faculty members participating, the replication of her methods in just two assignments increased freshman retention from 74.1% to 90.2% persisting into the following October. Moreover, these evidence-based methods support the promotion of a socially just campus where faculty recognize that not all students are already prepared to identify the purposes and criteria for their academic work. You can find more articles referring to these methods on the AAC&U Homepage.


Willamette University

Accessible Education Services

Salem Campus

Smullin 155
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6737 voice
503-370-6647 fax

Portland Campus

Room 270
Pacific Northwest College of Art
511 NW Broadway
Portland Oregon 97227 U.S.A.