Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jaekel, Kathryn S.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore faculty engagement with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the college classroom. Specifically, this study sought to uncover how instructors of record of Middleview University (MU) use and experience UDL-based tools and pedagogy. The lived experiences of the participants were examined to reveal any possible challenges, benefits, and level of professional preparedness concerning UDL principles and their application to the classroom.Semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and the collection of course artifacts and institutional content were the primary sources of data. The findings of this study revealed that, although the participants did not overtly identify the principles of UDL or recall prior UDL training, they were utilizing UDL in their classrooms because it afforded learning opportunities for students in a dynamic way. This dynamic pedagogical process was demonstrated by the ways in which the faculty of this study were flexible, collaborative, and open to utilizing various types of instructional support. Even though the faculty may have been using pedagogical strategies that mapped onto the UDL framework, their resulting course designs were not able to be designated as a genuine application of UDL because of their inability to inherently recognize the tenets of UDL. While using UDL-based strategies, the faculty encountered challenges with the amount of time required to plan and implement these methods, the lack of opportunity for collaboration with colleagues, and problems with technology. The faculty of this study often turned to applicable staff and support offices, such as the university’s Center for Instructional and Professional Design (CIPD) for assistance with any technology issues. Although CIPD is the primary office that supports the development of the faculty’s pedagogical knowledge of UDL, the faculty largely viewed their support as technological rather than pedagogical. This was attributed to the fact that CIPD mainly offers trainings centered on the institution’s learning management system and other educational technology, with little attention devoted to UDL. Thus, the findings of this study suggest the need for Middleview University to dedicate further attention to UDL-related support and education with an emphasis on collaborative opportunities and recognition of those faculty who currently employ UDL-based pedagogy.


126 pages




Northern Illinois University

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