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#MedEdPearls December 2021: Universal Design for Learning in Health Professions Education

As health professionals seek to prepare a diverse workforce, it is essential that unnecessary barriers to learning be removed. By incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles during the curriculum development process, we can provide flexibility and allow learners to customize their learning experiences to meet their individual needs. In his article Twelve tips for Designing an Inclusive Curriculum in Medical Education Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles

Dr. Karl Luke provides a framework for designing and implementing an inclusive curriculum based on three principles:

  1. Multiple means of representation: Using a variety of strategies to present information; providing a range of methods to support perception and comprehension.
  2. Multiple means of action and expression: Providing diverse learners with alternative ways to act competently; providing alternatives for demonstrating what learners have learned.
  3. Multiple means of engagement: Aligning to learners’ interests by offering choices of modality, content, and tools; optimizing relevance, value, and authenticity; motivating learners by offering variable levels of challenge and effective feedback.

Dr. Luke also suggests leveraging technology to present information in multiple forms, while stressing the importance of considering accessibility before implementing any technology. He suggests several useful techniques for including diverse voices, such as including learners in the development process and representing diverse patients in educational material. Dr. Luke articulates the value of transparency in assignments and variety in assessment. He suggests the importance of developing learning goals that encourage all learners to have equitable and flexible opportunities to develop and express knowledge and competence. In the twelfth tip, Dr. Luke provides links to UDL checklists that can be useful when contemplating UDL and deciding the UDL strategies to prioritize.


Author BIO

Larry Hurtubise, MA (2.0, ’16) is a Curriculum and Instruction Consultant at the Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. Larry’s areas of professional interest include the professional development of clinician educators, health professions education research and educational technology. Larry can be followed on Twitter or contacted via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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Saturday, 13 August 2022