Office of Digital Learning & Innovation (DLI)

Universal Design for Active Learning (UDAL)

What is Universal Design for Active Learning? (UDAL)

UDAL is UW Bothell Office of Digital Learning & Innovation's Universal Design Learning initiative. It comprises principles, research and best practices of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with added emphasis on learner engagement and flexible learning environments, both digital and physical. 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

UDAL at UW Bothell

Andreas Brockhaus, Director of the Office of Digital Learning & Innovation (DLI) at UW Bothell, coined the acronym UDAL (Universal Design for Active Learning) in 2016 as a UW Bothell DLI effort to integrate Universal Design for Learning principles in supporting student active learning and engagement.

UW Bothell UDAL Core Team

Leading this UDAL effort is a core group comprised of:

  • Rosa Lundborg, Academic Services-Assistant Director (Student Affairs/DRS)
  • Ashley Magdall, Web Support Specialist (Advancement & External Relations/Web Communications)
  • Jeane Marty, Senior Front End Software Engineer (IT/Enterprise Services Delivery Team)
  • Ana Thompson, Learning & Access Designer (Office of Digital Learning & Innovation)

UW Bothell Accessiblity Plan Committee

The Accessibility Plan Committee was formed autum 2017 to suport the UW Bothell Vision, follow the UW tri-campus plan, and provide an strategic foundation to all the accessiblity initiatives on campus. Once finalized, the plan will be published on the UW Bothell Accessibility website.

The following staff has participated in bringing this plan to fruition:

  • Sue Mokhtarnejad - IT / Director of Enterprise Services (former chair)
  • Kelli M. Trosvig - IT / Former UW Bothell Interim CIO
  • Christy Long - IT / UW Bothell CIO
  • Ana Thompson - DLI / Learning & Access Designer (current chair)
  • Jeane Marty - IT / Senior Front-end Software Engineer
  • Laura Mansfield - Advancement / Director of Digital Communications
  • Ashley Magdall - Advancement / Web Support Specialist
  • Gariella Meneguelli - Senior UX-Web Designer
  • Sharene Peltier - OE/HR / HR Manager for Staff
  • Rosa Liu - DRS / Academic Services-Assistant Director

UW IT Accessibility Leadership & Liaisons

UW is committed to providing leadership and support to its community as it embraces this responsibility. For more information on UW leadership efforts, go to to the UW IT Accessibility Leadership website.

As part of this effort, UW IT is leading and supporting Accessibility Liaisons, a group of excited, highly-motivated faculty and staff at the Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses who are promoting Universal Design and Accessibility for a more inclusive university. Anyone who would like to learn more and support accessibility can join. This group meets once per quarter at the Seattle campus in Capacity Building Institute (CBI), to learn and network with other UW liaisons. See a list of resources from past meetings. To join, just submit the IT Accessibility Liaison Registration Form.

UW Bothell IT Accessibility Liaisons List by Department

UDL, Accessibility and Active Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

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 Learning is used to design courses and content that provide an inclusive environment for our all of diverse students as well as use neuroscience principles to educate strategic, empowered and independent learners. 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.


What do we mean by accessibility?

An accessible product or service is one which can be used by all its intended users, without any accomodation. Accessibility starts with understanding that a user’s ability to create and perceive content may be limited. The limitation can be either permanent or temporary and may be due to various physical, mental, or environmental conditions. A thoughtful, intentional approach to designing courses and learning materials attempts to remove barriers arising from such limitations.

In education, we usually think of being compliant to the law requirements and providing students with disabilities reasonable accommodations that affords equal access to course content, learning activities, assessment, and other aspects of the student experience. For instance, a student with impaired hearing may be accommodated by providing captioned videos and transcripts to audio files. Or a student with dyslexia may be accommodated by using an app to read assigned articles. But this is not enough.

To support the UW mission of equity, diversity, excellence, innovation and respect, we must strive to create content that is universally accessible from the start. This is everyone's reponsibility.

To learn more about accessibility at UW Bothell, go to our accessibility website.

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. This can be done by inserting individual and group activities during classtime in between lecture pauses. It can also be done by flipping the classroom, where students watch videos of the lecture, read materials and then go to class to work on activities and homework.

UDAL brings together the best of accessibility, universal design for learning and active learning so learning is encouraged, supported and maximized for our diverse learners.