UDL Module 3: Focus on Representation

a graphic of a figure reading a bookModule 3 Introduction


First Steps: Now that you’ve completed Module 2, please consider the following:

(Prompt #8: What did you try in your classroom? How did that engage your students? Are there other engagement strategies that you would like to explore further? Please provide your response in the section below:)

a pink bulleted list of UDL principles, guidelines and checkpoints for representation

Retrieved from CAST, http://www.cast.org

As you’ve been exploring, the framework of UDL includes three overarching principles that focus on representation, strategy, and engagement. This module presents the Principle of Representation. Children vary in how they take in information. Teachers can vary the presentation methods in class to optimize learning. Providing multiple means of representation helps students understand the what of learning. There is no one way to present information for all learners so providing variation is essential to meet all students’ learning needs.  For example, students with low vision may need a high contrast combination of black background and yellow text when reading. Some learners may benefit from closed captioning or a text transcript to represent information that cannot be heard or understood through traditional speech. Still, some of us understand information when there are tactile ways to learn through hands-on exploration. In this module, we will be learning about the second principle of UDL – multiple means of representation.  Think about the formats you have used for representing ideas and information through visual, auditory, tactile, and multi-media strategies.

Module 3 Goals

  1. Explore multiple means of representation.
  2. Compare traditional text and UDL text.
  3. Discuss the potential benefits of the UDL representation concepts.

Module 3 Activities


  • Why is multiple means of representation important for student learning? When we think about representation, we are considering how the learning brain makes meaning out of information, recognizes, or understands the what of learning. This might vary based on how we understand information through hearing, seeing, or sensing. Neuroscience research further confirms that in each learning task, brain neurons are involved in both top-down and bottom-up processing and differ by the type of taskEach individual brings a variety of prior experiences to a learning situation and a unique signature in how they learn information. All of these variables add richness and dimension to any learning situation. As educators, we have an opportunity to expand the ways we share and “represent” information so that we can reach each and every student in our classrooms. Let’s explore how we might develop multiple means of representation. Click Here for the example guidelines under UDL Principle 1.
  • What does learning look like? Listen to the following audio clip to hear Dr. David Rose from CAST discuss how the recognition networks of the brain are involved in how we process this type of information, http://udlonline.cast.org/page/module1/l144/
  • What are your experiences? Take a few minutes to share with someone in your group how you’ve shared or represented information in an instructional or classroom situation. (Prompt #9: How does this apply to your students? Please provide your response in the section below:)
  • What does Multiple Means of Representation look like when applied in a classroom setting?  Watch this video of a 1st grade math class and find the various ways the material is represented, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuTJJQWnMaQ
  • How are multiple forms of representation different from traditional forms of representation?  In small groups, discuss and consider what you’ve reviewed thus far. Explore the range of low tech UDL text (http://padlet.com/wojcika/yqnmppljtjywand high tech UDL. How are the UDL texts different from traditional texts?  Describe your experiences by posting the items onto the documents.   You can also respond individually or as a group on the linked Padlet resource page.
  • In the following video, Dr. David Rose presents his musical metaphor presentation From Bach to Lady Gaga and explores the principle of representation even further.

To consider the UDL principle of Representation, you can…

  1. Read more about the first principle of UDL, Multiple Means of Representation at the CAST website.
  2. Explore the the CAST Book Builder website and create a simple page of UDL text.
  3. Dig Deeper into online resources under each of the UDL guidelines 1 – 3 that address Multiple Means of Representation, http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1
    Activity 3 Discussion  (Prompt #10: How would multiple forms of representation benefit your classroom?)

Next Steps: When we meet again, be prepared to describe the following: What did you try in your classroom? How did you represent information to your students? Are there other representation strategies that you would like to explore further?

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