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Seymour M. Enhancing the online student experience through the application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to research methods learning and teaching. Educ Inf Technol (Dordr). 2023 Jun 14:1-19. doi: 10.1007/s10639-023-11948-6.


This paper documents the process and outcomes of redesigning an online research methods module for taught postgraduate students using Universal Design for Learning (UDL). It also explores the effectiveness of UDL-informed design and practice to support the development of social, cognitive and teacher presence as defined under the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. The paper is based on findings from an online survey with students taking a research methods module as part of their Master of Arts (MA) programme. The findings point to a number of UDL-informed structures and practices that supported students' engagement on the module. These include (a) accessibility of the online learning resources (b) weekly structure and signposting (c) online peer connection and collaboration and (d) lecturer communication. It was also established that UDL, as applied in the redesign of this module, supported the development of cognitive, teaching and social presence. The conclusion of this paper is that UDL-informed design and practice has the potential to influence online learning in multiple and interdependent ways; in its own right and through its application in developing cognitive, social and teaching presence. The findings highlight the benefits of adopting UDL for wider application, particularly in the context of growing diversity in student populations in higher education.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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