Using Universal Design Principles for Assignments 

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As FIU Online Insider concludes the UDL mini-series, this article will be supporting you with the best tips in creating assignments with a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.   

Adopting UDL principles when designing assignments creates a more inclusive and engaging learning environment. UDL recognizes that learners differ in their preferences, abilities, and learning styles. It aims to support individual learning journeys with flexible instructional strategies.  


UDL encourages the design of assignments that tap into students’ interests, motivations, and strengths. Incorporating a variety of materials, tools, and media within assignments becomes more engaging and meaningful to learners. It helps foster their intrinsic motivation and promotes deeper learning. FIU Online’s Showcase Course provides multiple tools that support creating engaging assignments.


Providing multiple means of representation ensures that learners with varying abilities and learning preferences can access and demonstrate their knowledge effectively. Providing students with examples and additional resources makes assignments more accessible and benefits diverse learners. It is also recommended to break down complex tasks into manageable steps. It can create a learning environment where all students have equal opportunities to succeed and thrive. 

Action and Expression 

Providing students with a variety of assignments allows them to choose options that are in line with the learning goals. By allowing choice, students can select assignments that align with their interests and strengths, fostering intrinsic motivation. “Uplifting Assignments Spark Joy for Your Gradebook” is a great FIU Online Insider article that provides a variety of assignment ideas that you can try. 

You are welcome to review our “Introduction to Universal Design for Learning” article, to get an overview of the framework. 
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Cora Fernandez is an Instructional Designer with FIU Online at Florida International University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2015, and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction in 2018 from FIU. Previous to working at FIU Online, she was employed as the Undergraduate Office Specialist in the English Department and later as the Writing and Rhetoric Office Specialist. Also, she has taught First Year Experience, SLS1501. Teaching this course allowed her to gain experience as a facilitator in a hybrid setting. Currently as an Instructional Designer at FIU Online, she assists faculty in developing courses and earning Quality Matters certification.

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