Professor lecturing to class

What is Universal Instructional Design?

Universal Design (UD), a concept pioneered by Ron Mace and rooted in the field of architectural design, emphasizes the importance of anticipating the needs of an increasingly diverse public. In educational settings, Universal Instructional Design can be defined as the design of instruction to be usable by all students, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Universal Instructional Design (UID) takes UD concepts and applies these principles to the design of:

Curriculum and assessment
Instructional materials
Instructional strategies
Facilities such as buildings and classrooms

UID considers potential needs of all learners by identifying and eliminating unnecessary barriers to teaching and learning while maintaining academic rigor. Its goal is to maximize the learning of all students by applying UID principles to all learning products and environments. The approach fosters excellence in teaching by making curricula accessible and applicable to diverse learners.

The Achieving College Success Now grant utilized principles adapted from Chickering and Gamson’s “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” (1987) and the Center for Universal Design’s “Principles of Universal Design.”

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© 2010 ACeS All Rights Reserved, US Department of Education OMB No.1890-0004

Northampton Community College