Implementing Inclusive Teaching and Learning in UK Higher Education – Utilising Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a Route to Excellence

Project report


Martin, N, Wray, M, James, A, Draffan, EA, Krupa, J and Turner, P (2019). Implementing Inclusive Teaching and Learning in UK Higher Education – Utilising Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a Route to Excellence. Society for Research into Higher Education.
AuthorsMartin, N, Wray, M, James, A, Draffan, EA, Krupa, J and Turner, P
TypeProject report
Abstract

The UK higher education (HE) sector is undertaking reforms to the Disabled Students’
Allowance (DSA), until recently the primary means of funding support for eligible disabled
students. (Operation of DSA is slightly different in Scotland but similar principles apply.) In a
government-commissioned report, embedding Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and
inclusive practices was proposed as an approach to reducing reliance on the DSA. This
research examines the circumstances in which UDL is currently operating in a cross-section of
English higher education providers with a view to contributing to a currently patchy evidence
base. Focus groups, interviews and questionnaires were utilised to collect data from four
universities and disability support staff. Pockets of good practice such as inclusive virtual
learning environments were identified, and it is noted that such strategies benefit all students
rather than just those who would have been entitled to DSA. Strategic engagement and
embedding UDL was thought to require joined-up thinking between various staff groups under
the direction of a named senior leader. Participants suggested that this did not happen
coherently. Students felt that systems in place to support their learning were hard to navigate.
Some staff were surprised that they were not communicating about this as effectively as they
thought. A sector-wide benchmark does not currently exist and would be a helpful tool for
creating a stronger foundation on which to build change.

Year2019
PublisherSociety for Research into Higher Education
Web address (URL)https://www.srhe.ac.uk/downloads/reports-2017/Nicola-Martin-SRHE-Research-Report.pdf
Publication dates
Print29 May 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Jun 2019
Accepted25 Feb 2019
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