Cloonan, L. (2022). A Critical Evaluation of The Integration of a Universal Design for Learning Approach into a Module Using An ePortfolio: A Student Perspective. AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, 14(3), 1–27. https://ojs.aishe.org/index.php/aishe-j/article/view/679
The concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has been part of the teaching process for many years. Research articles have outlined UDL principles and how they can be used to promote inclusivity, but there is less research in relation to UDL practice from a student perspective. This research study aims to address that gap by critically evaluating the integration of a UDL approach into a brand management module using an ePortfolio, from a student perspective. The approach used in this study incorporates two of the UDL principles: multiple means of engagement and multiple means of action and expression. Both principles are applied through several assessment tasks using an ePortfolio. Objectives of the study include a review of the existing literature relating to UDL and an evaluation of the student experience in an Irish Higher Education Institution (HEI) using a responsive case study. The methodology adopted for this study combines constructivism and pragmatism as a basis for a mixed methods design. Overall research findings indicate positive student perceptions of the UDL approach adopted in the areas of multiple means of engagement and multiple means of action and expression. Students embraced the flexibility of choices offered through the range of ePortfolio tasks and expressed themselves in unique ways, both individually and in groups. They developed their reflection skills and took more autonomy over their own learning through peer assessment. Findings suggest that the use of such an approach enhances student engagement and enjoyment of the learning experience as they chose their own learning paths.