Universal Design for learning (UDL) is an approach that is used to accommodate the needs and abilities of all learners and eliminate roadblocks in their learning process. Developing a learning environment where information is presented in a variety of ways allow students to be more engaged when they are provided with options to demonstrate their learning.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

To ensure that UNCG users have support for web accessibility services, please view the following UNCG accessibility website.



Web Accessibility 101: Level One is now available in Canvas! This asynchronous, self-paced course is the first of three levels that focuses on making online content accessible for everyone. Level One covers basic accessibility fundamentals that you need to know to ensure that your content is accessible to your entire audience. If you create content that is posted or shared on a web page, in a course, in an email, through social media or other modes of online communication, then this course is for you! You can enroll in Level One now! Topics include:
  • The meaning and importance of web accessibility
  • Basic accessible design principles for web pages, documents, presentations, multimedia, and other content that address accessibility barriers which prevent users from fully accessing web content
  • Web accessibility laws that are applicable to higher ed employees
  • How users with disabilities experience and interact with online content
Web Accessibility 101 Level 1 is Live!

Why is this course necessary?

This course is designed to move the university towards compliance with UNCG’s ICT Accessibility Policy, the ADA, and other federal and state laws that require public entities to provide accessible online content to all users.

Who should complete Level One?

All faculty and staff will benefit from and are welcome to complete this training, but for some positions, this training is critical because it directly impacts their daily work activities. Positions that fall into this category will receive further information from their department or unit leaders regarding how and when to complete Level One. This training will be especially important for faculty who teach at least one online course, faculty who teach a course that has an online component, and staff who create and/or post content on a UNCG website. One huge benefit – Level One participants will receive a badge and certificate upon completion! This can count towards continuing professional development requirements for online instructors.

How do I get started?

Click the self-enrollment link: WA 101 Canvas Course and you are ready to begin!

How long will it take to complete the course?

This course is asynchronous, so completion time will vary. The average time needed for Level One ranges from 4-8 hours, but participants can work at their own pace. If you are already familiar with certain accessibility topics in a section of the course, you may be able to save some time and skip ahead to the quiz to show mastery of that section. For questions or more information, contact Melanie Eley at accessibility@uncg.edu.

UDL - defined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 as a "scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice"

UDL - "The roots of UDL are found in early civil rights and special education legislation that emphasized the right of all students to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment (Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose, & Jackson, 2005).

The UDL framework was conceived by researchers at the Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST) in the late 1980s as the result of the alignment of three conceptual shifts: advancements in architectural design, developments in education technology, and discoveries from brain research.

UDL offers options for how information is presented, how students engage and demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

Why consider UDL? After listening to the presenter and watching the videos, you may think that accessibility has nothing to do with nursing or you don't have an issue with accessibility. However, all students should have access to all assignments and content in your course. Do you know if all students can complete your assignments in your course without issue?

For instance,

  • If you ask your students to upload an image, do you provide a meaningful alternative for your students who cannot see an image?

  • If you host an online synchronous chat session, do you have a strategy in place for students with learning disabilities who may be challenged by the fast pace of an online chat?

  • The University of Arkansas provides a good summary of things to remember as you prepare your class for UDL learning.

Tips for UDL in your class


UDL Principles

The UDL framework uses a proactive design that reduces or eliminates barriers and enables learners to succeed.

UDL addresses three learning principles in which each area of the curriculum should provide multiple, varied and flexible options for the students.

Principle 1: Provide multiple means of representation


  • Providing video captioning and video descriptions (e.g. adding text or adding text or audio to describe what happens in a video to support access by persons with visual difficulties);

  • Highlighting vocabulary in subject matter content,

  • Main ideas offered through graphic organizers [use of visual symbols to express knowledge, concepts, thoughts, or ideas, and the relationships between them]

  • Vocal directions matched with printed and visual/image representations (e.g., pictured directions in learning centers);

  • Pre-teaching opportunities for new vocabulary and concepts;

  • Color shading used for emphasis;

  • Use of Visuwords for vocabulary development (www. visuwords.com);

  • Visual cueing for feedback during class.

Principle 2: Provide multiple means of action and expression


  • Models of expert performance provided using differing approaches;

  • Paired voice with visual displays;

  • Outlines of subject matter content;

  • Use of Interactive tools: Discussion boards, games, interactive media, chat rooms.  The latest research on learning demonstrates that students only retain 10% of what they hear, whereas they retain up to 75% of material that they have an opportunity to practice (Lalley & Miller, 2007).

  • Use of interactive learning modules that will need to be completed before class: e.g. MyNursingLab. The four components of this online program are a diagnostic pre-test of six to ten questions, succinct review chunks of information, a few focused remember questions with rationales provided, two to three  application questions from a case scenario, and finally a post-test that can be re-taken multiple times to help students retain the content.

  • Read: Active learning strategies for today's nursing students (Wolters Kluwer, 2021)

Principle 3: Provide multiple means of engagement


  • Choice of topics for projects

  • Simple self-monitoring checklists (e.g. Journals or Self-reflection activities)

  • Small-group activities

  •  Enhance relevance, value, and authenticity

  • Offer varying levels of challenge and support

  • Foster collaboration and communication

Increase mastery-oriented feedback (using video and audio)


Here are some resources for assessing and creating documents:



Here are some tips and resources for assessing and creating audio and video:

 Creating Captions Yourself

Captioning Services

  • ITS has negotiated a contract with 3PlayMedia for captioning services; however, you or your department are still responsible for payment.  For more information, contact 3PlayMedia .
  • UNCG Online provides captioning for up to 6 hours per online course.  To apply for captioning, please complete the UNCG Online Closed Captioning Request form.


Here are some resources for creating and assessing presentations: