Questions for Reflection:

  •  Have you begun the conversation about learning environments with your staff? How is that going?
  • How would you describe the learning environment in your school or centre?
  • What aspects of your schools or centres are already flexible? What aspects could be more flexible?

Big Ideas about UDL & Flexible Learning

(see below for definitions)

"We have to change the space in our head to use the space in our environment." Carter, Sebach, & White, 2016. What's in your Space?

In 2015, the Lester B. Pearson School Board began a UDL initiative with ALDI.  This series of short videos with Cindy Finn, Director of Student Services with the LBPSB, talks about their experience over two years with UDL and Flexible Learning.

Moving beyond the Jargon

Terms like UDLFlexible LearningFlexible Spaces, or Active Learning Environments are thrown around so often that they are reduced to jargon and can lose their meaning.  In this video, Cindy talks about how to move beyond the jargon with your staff in order to move forward.

Moving beyond redecorating the classroom

Flexibility is about so much more than the physical environment. Cindy describes the shifts they experienced as a result of focusing on learning environments and UDL – including the flexibility to take risks and learn from mistakes!


The impact on classroom management and behaviour issues

In this final video, Cindy talks about the impact of a UDL framework and flexibility on classroom management as well as the idea of the whole school as a learning environment.

What is the director’s role in a flexible learning classroom?

Listen to Michel Gobeil, Centre Director at Centre le Vaillon in Papineauville, Quebec talk about his role when one of his teachers wanted to transform her classroom space.

(The video is in French. It is a total of 10 minutes, though it is set to begin when Michel Gobeil speaks, at 1:50. His part lasts until 2:50)

What is UDL & Flexible Learning?

UDL – Universal Design for Learning, a brief overview by Andrea Prupas for ALDI.

Flexible Learning, according to the University of British Columbia:

Resources for planning for whole school change around flexible learning 

The Government of New Zealand Ministry of Education has created and compiled a variety of resources for school leaders concerning the logistics of transitioning to flexible learning environments in schools. These include planning guides, assessment documents, and budgetary issues, among other resources.

Designing Learning Environments – New Zealand Ministry of Education

McGill University has developed a Framework for Flexible Teaching & Learning Environments Finkelstein, A., Ferris, J., Winer, L. & Weston, C. (2014). Principles for designing teaching and learning spaces. Montreal: Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University. This framework includes whole campus issues. It was created for higher education and can be adapted for other sectors (adaptation for Adult Education sector in progress, 2017).

McGill Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces framework.

Learning resources for this tile were developed by Cindy Finn (Director of Student Services, LBPSB), Avi Spector (RECIT Consultant, RSB), Adam Finkelstein (McGill, Teaching and Learning Services), Andrea Prupas (Consultant, Assistive Technologies, EMSB), and Tracy Rosen (RECIT Consultant, CSSMI), 2016/2017. Thank you!

If you would like more information about these resources or if you have something you would like to add to this tile, please contact Avi Spector or Tracy Rosen.

All materials are expected to be reused and shared according to this Creative Commons license, unless otherwise noted: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0