Learning Goals

Learning Goals & Objectives: UDL in Mind

What does this mean:

Learning goals and objectives articulate the essential and required skills and competencies students are expected to demonstrate. These skills and competencies are usually assessed at the end of the course through a formative assessment. This section provides resources and information on how to develop clear learning goals guided by the UDL framework.

Why is this important:

Good course design starts with clearly identifying the course goals and objectives and articulating the core skills and competencies all students are required to demonstrate throughout the course. A clear depiction of required core skills and competencies and learning objectives is an essential first step in order to determine which parts of the course allow for flexibility and the implementation of UDL tools and features. Course goals and objectives guide instructors in selecting and organizing course content, selecting course materials, making decisions about content relevant and content irrelevant factors and choosing the appropriate type of assessment.

How is this achieved: 

When identifying learning goals and objectives with UDL in mind, it is essential to consider the wide variety of learners in your class and to offer students different ways to attain the learning goals and objectives. Here are a few tips on how to get started with designing learning objectives:

  • Learning objectives should be student-centered and focus on cognitive skills
  • Use action verbs
  • Distinguish between content relevant and content irrelevant factors by asking:
  • What essential competencies must a student have to accomplish this learning goal?
  • Are there unnecessary barriers that might prevent the student from reaching the goals?
  • If you have identified barriers, what might be possible alternatives that will not alter the essential core requirements?


  • How Learning Works (2010), by Ambrose & Bridges
  • Working with Faculty towards Universally Designed Instruction: The Process of Dynamic Course Design by Harrison
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques (1993) by Angelo & Cross

See practical examples of UDL implementation: UDL in Action.