Implementing Alternative Content Formats

Maximizing the ability for students to learn both inside and outside of the classroom is an important aspect of universal design for learning (UDL), as it benefits all learners and reduces barriers to academic success. One core principle of UDL is providing multiple means of representation. This can be achieved by providing opportunities for students to learn what was covered in the class session(Cast, 2018). Below is a list of alternative content formats that can help implement this UDL principle:

Recorded live lectures

Recordings made of lectures using Zoom or other technologies uploaded to Panopto and provided via the Canvas LMS to ensure FERPA compliance.

Curated recorded class lectures

Recorded lectures from a previous semester can be provided if the same content is covered and the audio and visual quality is clear so long as these videos do not contain identifiable information (names, images, voices) of students from prior enrollments. 

Pre-recorded lectures

Pre-recorded lectures using technology that creates high-quality audio and visual (usually a screen recording). These can be created at home, in your office, or using CLDT’s studios.

Lecture notes

Detailed lecture notes that explain the material covered in class should be accompanied by guidance as to which content is covered in each class session and its relative importance. 

Presentation slides

Presentation slides may be sufficient so long as they provide enough detail for students to understand the content and context, otherwise they should be supplemented by lecture audio recordings or transcriptions. Microsoft Powerpoint provides this capability.


Where a textbooks or other published sources are required and followed by the instructor, these should be supplemented by a guide that clearly communicates the content covered in each class session, where it can be found in the texts, and its relative importance.


CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from

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