Universal Design for Learning: Technology and Pedagogy

Abbas Wahab
3 min readJan 1, 2020


The term UDL (Universal Design for Learning) seems a technical term and more often people associate it with technology. However, it is not about the use of technology but technology can be used to implement the UDL guidelines effectively. UDL is more about pedagogy and instructional practices in which the sole importance is given to marginalize students or students having disabilities. UDL has been mined from the field of architecture by Ron Mace. He stated that building structure needs to be incorporated with many features like ramps, doorways, and elevators to make it comfortable for people of different needs. The main feature is to provide access to every individual, for instance, people with unique needs. Now looking to UDL the universal design means that it should be universal to meet the need of individuals. The fact of universal design is making it accessible for more people to take benefit from it by undertaking any extra efforts. Educators need to use these principles in the design and delivery of instructions.

Equitable Use

According to the need of learners, the technology can be used to give a practical demonstration as researches show that most of the textbook is difficult for many learners. Students with disabilities need the information to be cohesive to make it easy learning for them as they have organizational problems.

Flexibility in Use

The instruction should accommodate a wide range and variety of learners. Let’s take an example of teaching learners about a shape in Mathematics. In Math, the teachers should not only use concrete or virtual demonstration but should also use effective pedagogy too. The concrete manipulatives should be flexible to cater to any kind of learner.

Simple and Intuitive Use

Before providing content to the student’s teacher should know about the previous knowledge and language understanding of the learner. He should make it as a base for the future learning of a learner. He should engage the learner with a variety of activities to meet the need for a diverse amount of leaners.

Perceptible Information

The UDL principle stated that the information should be clear and represented and practiced in many ways for the learners to facilitate a wide range of learners. The content should be providing them clear and precise language for learning with impact. Clear verbal and directions are to be provided to those students having language disabilities.

Tolerance for Error

It states that making a mistake or errors as a learning opportunity for the learner. Many softwares are developed to have tolerance for errors, in result the same approach should be implemented here. The learner gets an appealing response on an error to try it again and again to remind the steps. An error can be used as a learning opportunity to provide immediate feedback to the learner for scaffolding.

Less Physical Efforts

The material provided should be easily accessible to learners without making extra efforts. A class should not be “high tech” as many students may not be friendly keyboard users. The material should be universally designed to meet the needs of diverse learners

Size and Space for Approach and use

In an implementation of UDL instructors can use a multi-media projector, screens or smart boards. The size of the text should be visible to students sitting anywhere in the classroom. The instructor should ensure that if learners are doing an activity on charts so they should write it as big as students from the sitting area call easily read the contents. The universal design needs to be smart and friendly for students of all kinds but especially for student shaving disabilities. For example, students with learning disabilities of reading can enjoy listening to audio versions of text using a technological device while others can read it from the text.



Abbas Wahab

Technologist | Trainer | Educational Consultant | Content Writer | Skills Promoter | Entrepreneur | Ed-tech Developer | NUST Graduate | Founder: www.isdswat.org