Analyzing a College Course that Adheres to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework

Frances G Smith


Universal design for learning (UDL) offers an educational framework for a college instructor that can maximize the design and delivery of course instruction by emphasizing multiple representations of materials, varied means for student expression, content and knowledge, and multiple ways to motivate and engage student learning. Through a UDL lens, learner variability is anticipated and considered as a strength in the instructional planning process. The present study examined the reflective practice of one faculty member as she applied the UDL framework to her graduate class. Study participants were engaged in action research that both explored the faculty’s use of the UDL framework to design and deliver an introductory graduate research methods course and, student perspectives of the application of this approach. Both faculty and student responses were favorable towards the implementation of the UDL instructional practice. Results suggest that when faculty use the UDL framework to help design courses, goals are more clearly aligned with instructional practices; there is a positive relationship to student interest and engagement; and students are positively engaged in the course.


Universal design for learning; teaching and learning; UDL; research methods; postsecondary education; universal design; higher education

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ISSN 1527-9316