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In this lesson we will address the topic of "variability of learning" as introduced by the model known as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which has several aspects in common with the frameworks seen so far.

Building on classical authors such as Vygotsky and Luria, Rose and Meyer's work introduces recent empirical evidence from cognitive neuroscience into the discourse on the variability of learning. They propose a model of brain functioning and organisation, i.e. an explanatory simplification of its configuration.

Within its complex structure, in fact, a number of fundamental functions are recognisable: the theory behind UDL identifies three main neural networks that, in addition to having a certain level of specialisation, are strongly interconnected.

By describing how each brain learns, UDL is able to indicate along which axes this variability that characterises us as individuals can be described and addressed.

Slide 1 - Voice Over

Universal Design for Learning is a comprehensive framework to promote the inclusive design of learning content, developed by David Rose and Anne Meyer.

According to them, it is crucial to recognize and consider the interplay of three fundamental neural networks that exist within every individual's brain. These networks significantly influence the variations in how we learn, process information, and engage with educational materials. By acknowledging and accommodating these differences, educators can create a learning environment that caters to the diverse needs of learners, ensuring equal access and opportunities for all.


The first network, known as the Affective Network, encompasses the emotional and motivational aspects of learning.


The second network, known as the Recognition Network, governs the perceptual processes that enable us to gather and interpret information from our senses.


The third network, known as the Strategic Network, involves the cognitive processes required for planning, organizing, and executing learning tasks.

Slide 2 - Voice Over

So, first of all, we all differ in the way we manage our emotions, both positive and negative ones. Emotions play a significant role in learning outcomes, and individuals vary in their emotional responses to different learning tasks and environments. To create an inclusive learning atmosphere, educators can cultivate a positive and supportive environment, where learners feel a sense of belonging, autonomy, and competence.


Providing multiple means of engagement helps students see the relevance of learning content. Acknowledging and addressing diverse emotional experiences, educators can integrate strategies such as providing opportunities for personal expression, fostering collaborative learning experiences, and incorporating real-life connections to enhance learners' emotional engagement and well-being.

Slide 3 - Voice Over

We all differ in the way we perceive information from the world around us. This network plays a crucial role in how we perceive and make sense of the learning environment, with variations in visual, auditory, and sensory preferences.


To address these differences, educators can adopt multiple means of representation, providing various modalities such as visual aids, audio recordings, interactive multimedia, and tactile resources, to support access, decoding and memorization. By offering diverse ways to present information, learners can engage with the content in a manner that aligns with their preferred learning style, promoting deeper comprehension and knowledge acquisition.

Slide 4 - Voice Over

We all differ in the way we apply thinking patterns to tackle and solve any kind of problem. This network plays a pivotal role in how individuals set goals, process information, and develop effective strategies to acquire and demonstrate knowledge, which are two fundamental parts of the other frameworks covered by this course.


To support the Strategic Network, educators can provide diverse means of engagement, allowing learners to choose from a variety of tasks and assignments that align with their interests and preferences. By offering options and flexibility, educators empower learners to take ownership of their learning journey, fostering intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy.

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