Module 4 – Guidelines



The UDL core principles, multiple means of engagement, representation and expression, are the cornerstones of UDL. In this module, you will learn how to apply these guidelines during the design of lessons, materials and instruction. You will discover that many classroom strategies you already use are compatible with UDL, and you will add new strategies to your UDL toolkit. Some of these strategies will require the use of technology and others will not. You don’t need to embrace technology to begin applying the UDL Guidelines.

Each core principle is divided into 3 guidelines and each guideline is further divided into checkpoints. Collectively, these are known as the UDL Guidelines. Please print a copy of the UDL: Theory and Practice version of the Guidelines (2014) from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning to use while exploring this module. In the UDL 2.0 version of the UDL Guidelines (2008), the core principles appeared in a different order: Representation, Expression and Engagement. Both versions are currently in use.

When you complete this module, you will:

  • explore each core principle, its guidelines and checkpoints
  • learn practical classroom strategies based on the guidelines
  • learn why offering choice is such a power strategy in the UDL classroom

Essential Questions

  • How can I help my students become more motivated and self-regulated learners?
  • How can I help my students transform information into knowledge?
  • How can I help my students demonstrate their learning?
  • Why is offering choice such a powerful UDL strategy?




The multiple means of engagement principle is about much more than creating a fun and motivating classroom environment. Providing authentic learning tasks and helping students develop the self-regulation skills to focus and stay on task will greatly enhance learning.



The multiple means of representation principle suggests that we provide multiple access points to learning. We can make learning accessible for a greater number of students by presenting curricular materials and concepts in a variety of ways with a variety of supports.



The multiple means of expression principle encourages us to allow students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. When they are given choice, students who struggle with traditional means of expression are able to truly demonstrate their learning.



Teachers in the BC UDL Project consistently identified “choice” as the single most powerful UDL strategy. Given choice, students will take more ownership of their learning and their motivation to learn will increase.


  • What does it look/sound like when students are engaged?
  • What strategies are you already using that are a good fit with UDL? Which new strategies will you try?
  • Think about a time you offered students choice. How did they react?

Dig Deeper

The One:

Explore the UDL Guidelines in detail at the National Center on Universal Design for Learning. Click on each guideline to see examples and current research evidence for each guideline and checkpoint. The website uses the UDL Guidelines version 2.0 (2008). Although the order has changed in the UDL Guidelines Theory and Practice version (2014), the guidelines and checkpoints are the same.
The Rest:

Teachers in New Brunswick have created a collection of downloadable UDL lessons in math and language arts. The lessons are goal-based and the UDL Guidelines applied during lesson design are noted on the right hand side of the page.

Are you looking for good online resources in the subject areas? Former SET-BC consultant Maureen LaFleche has curated a collection of Curriculum Resources.

Are you looking for a collection of technology tools and apps to support UDL implementation? Paul Hamilton, a retired SET-BC consultant, has curated a UDL Resource organized by the UDL core principles. Paul is a strong advocate for helping students (and teachers) create technology toolkits.

The ISTE S00C4Learning Course, Using Apps to Support UDL, provides a great introduction to each of the UDL guidelines and the apps that support each guideline. The videos, by leading UDL practitioners, are well worth watching.

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