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What is Universal Design for Active Learning? (UDAL)

UDAL is UW Bothell Learning Technologies Universal Design for Active Learning initiative. It comprises principles, research and best practices of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with added emphasis on learner engagement and physical spaces. UDAL is being integrated in faculty development, student support materials, online and hybrid course design, classroom design and faculty learning communities.

UDAL promotes:

  • Equitable access to electronic materials
  • Use of best practices in course design and pedagogies
  • Active learning and engagement

About UDAL

Andreas Brockhaus, Director of Learning Technologies at UW Bothell, coined the acronym UDAL (Universal Design for Active Learning) in 2016 as a UW Bothell Learning Technologies effort to integrate Universal Design for Learning principles in supporting student active learning and engagement. The core group leading this effort is comprised of Ana Thompson, Learning Technologist (Learning Technologies), Sara Frizelle, eLearning Planning and Research Specialist (Learning Technologies), Jeane Marty, Web Developer (Web Services), Ashley Magdall, Web Support Specialist (Advancement) and Rosa Lundborg, Program Manager (Disability Resources for Students).

UDL and Active Learning Primer


UDL is a framework that uses "research-based set of principles to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and effective for all" ( website).  

Universal Design for Active Learning includes the best practices and principles of Universal Design for Learning, to design courses and content that provide an inclusive environment for our all of diverse students. You can access the Getting Started page for more information. UDL research evidence can be found at the UDL Center website.

The following short video created by the Boston College Center for Teaching Excellence highlighting UDL principles and how to apply them in a higher education setting.

Active Learning

Active learning is an instructional model which focuses on having the students be an active part of the learning experience, rather than a passive listener as with a traditional lecture. UDAL brings together the best of both so learning is encouraged, supported and maximized for our diverse learners.