Multiple Means of Action & Expression

Universal Design for Learning: Examples of Multiple Means of Action and Expression


Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE) is the principle of Universal UDL that has been referred to as the “how” of learning (Rose & Meyer, 2002).The National Center on UDL describes Multiple Means of Action and Expression in this way:

Learners differ in the ways that they can navigate a learning environment and express what they know. For example, individuals with significant movement impairments (e.g., cerebral palsy), those who struggle with strategic and organizational abilities (executive function disorders), those who have language barriers, and so forth approach learning tasks very differently. Some may be able to express themselves well in written text but not speech, and vice versa. It should also be recognized that action and expression require a great deal of strategy, practice, and organization, and this is another area in which learners can differ. In reality, there is not one means of action and expression that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for action and expression is essential.
- National Center on UDL, Principle II, 2011

The Center provides expanded Guidelines with examples under each Checkpoint to increase the understanding of ways to Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression. Below are some specific examples of Multiple Means of Action or Expression a postsecondary instructor might use.

Some Ways to Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression in Postsecondary Classes

  • Provide options for student response
  • Allow multiple formats for demonstrating knowledge—oral or written
  • Incorporate a variety of assessment formats
  • Establish framework for planning through detailed descriptions of assignments
  • Encourage use of technologies to ensure students accurately express their understanding