Current position: Adoption Lead, Technology Transformation Services, United States Government
Position During Program: Learning Designer, University of Southern Maine
- PhD in Public Policy with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Southern Maine, 2022
- MSEd in Instructional Technology, University of Maine, 2012
- BCS, University of Maine, Machias, 2002
Title: Effects of Universal Design for Learning on Faculty and Student Outcomes in Postsecondary Online Courses
Abstract: As diversity of student enrollment increases, postsecondary institutions must address the inclusiveness of physical and virtual learning environments. Doing so requires engaging faculty in a conversation about their online pedagogy and course design. This study employs Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a means for faculty to reflect on and solve instructional problems in their courses. It follows a sequential, exploratory, quasi-experimental, mixed-methods approach. Instructor-focused, in-depth interviews capture the experience of instructors as they reflect on their personal history that led them to teaching. They identified a portion of one of their online courses to improve and selected modifications inspired by the UDL framework. They also reflect on the subsequent interactions with their students with a focus on changes they have observed in relation to the modified portion of their course. The student-focused portion of the study examines the effect these modifications have on student outcomes through quantitative and qualitative analysis of their responses to a survey. The student-provided data were compared across control and treatment sections for each course. This study demonstrates how the UDL framework and guidelines can be used as a tool for qualitative research in addition to its traditional role as a prescriptive model. The synthesis of all data from the study provides postsecondary educators with an empirical account of UDL’s utility and attempts to address barriers to adoption.