Reaching All Learners

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing instruction that is accessible and effective for all learners. This is just as important in the online environment as it is in the physical classroom!

Remember that the UDL guidelines 1 call for teachers to provide student with:

As a refresher, watch this 5-minute video from CAST about UDL. 5 Then explore the resources below for how to apply UDL in an online setting.

UDL and Remote Learning

Review Torrey Trust’s Teaching Remotely in Times of Need slide deck – particularly slides 6-15, which deal with Universal Design for Learning. 6

  • Slides 6-8: multiple means of representation
  • Slides 9-13: multiple means of engagement
  • Slides 14-15: multiple means of action and expression

Read the article Distance Learning: 6 UDL Best Practices for Online Learning by Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann. 7

Review the Remote Learning Resources from CAST for more ways to use a UDL approach in online instruction. 8

Web Accessibility

Access is a key part of Universal Design for Learning. Visit the Accessibility Tips portion of this site for more information about how to ensure your materials are equally accessible to all learners.


Providing options is a key part of Universal Design for Learning. Explore how the following tools can help you reach and teach all learners.

Tiered Assignments in Your LMS

Each learning management system allows you to assign tasks to specific students or groups of students based on their needs. Select the LMS your district uses to learn how.

Choice Boards

Choice boards are one way to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression. Watch this 90-second video from Martine Brown for a quick introduction to digital choice boards. 9

Watch this 3-minute video from Tara Amsterdam about one way to set up a digital choice board. 10

Learning Playlists

Read the article Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction by Jennifer Gonzalez to learn about how to use learning playlists to meet varied student learning needs and preferences. 11

Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction


Read the article 3 Ways to Differentiate Learning in the Classroom with HyperDocs by Shaelynn Farnsworth. 12

Watch this 4-minute video from Teachers Give Teachers for an overview of how to design a HyperDoc for your students. 13

Find more HyperDocs resources on the Student Engagement page.


  1. CAST, Inc. (2020). The UDL guidelines.
  2. CAST, Inc. (2020). Principle: Provide multiple means of engagement. The UDL guidelines.
  3. CAST, Inc. (2020). Principle: Provide multiple means of representation. The UDL guidelines.
  4. CAST, Inc. (2020). Principle: Provide multiple means of action & expression. The UDL guidelines.
  5. CAST. (2010). UDL at a glance {Video}. YouTube.
  6. Trust, T. (2020). Teaching remotely in times of need {Google Slides}.
  7. Rappolt-Schlichtmann, G. (2020, March 18). Distance learning: 6 UDL best practices for online learning. Understood.
  8. CAST, Inc. (2020). Remote learning resources.
  9. Brown, M. {Martine Brown}. (2017, February 1). Choice boards for differentiation {Video}. YouTube.
  10. Amsterdam, T. {Tara Amsterdam}. (2018, January 6). How to set up a choice board {Video}. YouTube.
  11. Gonzalez, J. (2016, September 4). Using playlists to differentiate instruction. Cult of Pedagogy.
  12. Farnsworth, S. (2017, January 19). 3 ways to differentiate learning in the classroom with HyperDocs. EdTechTeacher.
  13. Teachers Give Teachers. (2020, May 24). How to create a HyperDoc in 5 steps {Video}. YouTube.
Skip to toolbar