The purpose of this article is twofold: 1) to introduce the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) by going to its origination in the field of architecture—the Universal Design, in order to illustrate the inclusive nature of UDL, 2) to shed light on one of the most important aspects of UDL—collaboration. The UDL framework provides teachers with a unified framework to collaborate on the development of an accessible and inclusive curriculum through flexible pedagogy and tool use...
The traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum denies the vast individual differences in learning strengths, challenges, and interests. The focus of this article is a novel approach, called Universal Design for Learning, to addressing the challenge of individual learner differences. Cognitive science research suggests the joint action of three broad sets of neural networks in cognition and learning: one that recognizes patterns, one that plans and generates patterns, and...
Responding to the call by educators for empirical evidence of UDL's beneficial effects on student learning, performance, persistence, and ultimately retention, this study measured changes and/or improvements in instruction as perceived by students following UDL instructor training and subsequent course delivery modifications. This study also describes the process that was undertaken to develop and implement pre- and post-student surveys, and points the way toward further research regarding the benefits of UDL implementation to postsecondary education.
This article examines findings on student perceptions of individual interventions based on the principles of universal design for learning (UDL). The examination includes a comparison of the reported perceptions of mainstreamed students with high incidence disabilities (i.e., learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, or other health impairments under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) to that of their general education peers.
Findings showed that relative to their other academic classes, both groups of students had high levels of satisfaction and expressed similar themes as to what they perceived to be the best and worst parts of the interventions and ideas for improvement. Both groups also reported near unanimous agreement as to wanting their teachers to use more UDL interventions. The reported perceptions and subsequent comparison forms the basis for discussing the implications of UDL in high school settings.
A grant-funded initiative for professional development that used the framework of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) included activities in developmental reading, writing, and math courses. Participants, most of whom were part-time instructors, engaged in an intensive administrator-led, 2-day workshop followed by participant-led activities that extended over multiple semesters. Elements of the training are described; examples of strategies used by these instructors based on UDI principles are included; and insights into the value of designing teaching to incorporate UDI principles are shared.
Identifying faculty attitudes can determine readiness for organizational change with respect to implementing UDL principles and can be useful when developing training methods or materials. This paper discusses such a study conducted at a medium-sized, public, research university during fall 2011 with the purpose of
This paper describes the results of the data collection phase of a faculty action-research project that grew from a core group of university faculty members' concerns about how best to support students with disabilities on campus. A survey was used to identify faculty members' stages of concern about and use of nine Universal Design for Learning guidelines in their classes.
Based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL focuses on the learner) and Universal Design for Instruction (UDI focuses on instruction), the purposes of this study were to determine if faculty were incorporating UDI/UDL into their instruction, and their attitudes toward students with disabilities, as these could be barriers to learning.
The model of differentiated instruction requires teachers to be flexible in their approach to teaching and adjust the curriculum and presentation of information to learners rather than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum.
Guided by the constructivist views of Vygotsky and Piaget, this qualitative case study was designed to understand teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of how UDL can be used to promote equitable inclusive instruction, implementation barriers, educational applications for UDL, and perceived needs to implement UDL.
This paper discusses the role and benefits of using assistive technology in the Universal
Design for Learning (UDL), in academic skills, and in transition services. A summary of the important principles that need to be considered in the integration of technology in educating or training students with disabilities is provided.
Response to intervention (RtI) provides tiered levels of supports to all students and allows for increasingly more intensive and individualized instruction. Similarly, universal design for learning (UDL) addresses needs of students by proactively planning for instructional, environmental, and technology supports to allow all students to effectively access and engage in instruction.
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of faculty who had participated in an online module on technology-enriched UDL strategies, and how this participation impacted perceptions about the needs of students with disabilities (SWDs), the application of technology to meet the needs of SWDs, and the application of technology-enriched UDL strategies to meet the needs of SWDs.
To prepare teacher candidates for the growing number of online learners they will encounter in their professional practice, it is important that they have the opportunity to experience quality online learning themselves. This paper reports a case study of an online teacher education course that was designed based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. Drawing from survey results and statistics collected through the online learning management system, 24 teacher candidates' online learning experiences were shared.
This study sought measures to determine if applying Universal Design for Learning principles to online courses would improve overall student grades or participation. Using a quasi-experimental, quantitative study with comparative design, 26 sections of a 16-week online analytic and argumentative writing course, with 546 total students, were examined in the areas of student grades, discussion board participation, and course logins.
Study outcomes revealed no statistically significant difference between control and treatment course designs in final grades or participation. These findings do not negate the potential of Universal Design for Learning principles in online course design; rather, they prompt additional questions including what course outcomes parameters should be used to determine design effectiveness, to what extent do various course designs influence student engagement, which specific elements of course design learners prefer, and which tools do learners find most helpful.