Research about Universal Design for Learning: Moving Beyond What We Think We Know
Cynthia Okolo, Ian Clemente, Shawn Daley, Michigan State University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Las Vegas, NV, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-37-7 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Universal Design for Learning is a framework for designing and optimizing teaching and learning based on scientific insights into how people learn (CAST). Today’s educators are expected to implement UDL principles to create classrooms that are responsive to the needs of all learners. Despite its prominence, claims about the research base for UDL warrant scrutiny. In this presentation, we provide a review of UDL research based on an analysis of 126 peer-reviewed papers, published between 2000 and 2017, that investigated the use of UDL in early childhood through postsecondary education settings. Highlights of our results include the finding that the quantity and quality of research about UDL have consistently increased over time. UDL research studies are published in a broad array of journals, but concentrated primarily in journals targeted to special educators or technology educators. Technology is a major feature in more than 2/3rds of these studies and is used in a range of ways, from simple to sophisticated, that align with UDL principles. The nature of research, questions asked, and the methods used vary in somewhat predictable ways based on the characteristics of participants and the educational contexts in which studies are conducted, suggesting that broad generalizations about the impact and efficacy of UDL are not likely to be productive. Implications for future UDL research and the development and application of UDL-aligned technology and practices are discussed.
Okolo, C., Clemente, I. & Daley, S. (2019). Research about Universal Design for Learning: Moving Beyond What We Think We Know. In K. Graziano (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2601-2607). Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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