The effect of using universal design for learning (UDL) to improve vocational programme with cognitive disability and the challenges facing this method from the point of view teachers

  • Ohud Adnan A Saffar

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using universal design for learning (UDL) on the acquisition of photography profession skills in a vocational programme for students with intellectual disability (SID) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The study has also sought to discover the effectiveness of this method for integrating the SID with students of non-special educational needs (SNSEN) (or non-SEN) in the same classroom. Moreover, this study has explored the advantages, drawbacks and the challenges associated with the implementation of the UDL method in the classroom from the teachers' perspective. That this study took place in girls' secondary schools in mixed ability classrooms. that 24 numbers of students and 16 teachers took part, that data was collected by questionnaire, lists of observations, open questions, and pre- and post-testing.;The first stage was to investigate the teachers' opinions by using the questionnaire and open questions, after training the teachers in how to apply the UDL, to teach SNSEN and SID in the same classroom. This stage also sought to learn the effects of UDL on integrating the SID with SNSEN students. The second stage explored the effect of the UDL on the teaching of professional photography skills for the SID in KSA. To achieve this goal the observation lists and pre- and post-tests were used to compare the learning performance of the SID which used the UDL in experiment groups, with the performance of the SID that used the usual, traditional strategies of learning in control groups.;The results of the research were analysed using a Mann-Whitney U Test, as well as various descriptive statistics. The findings indicate that there was a statistically significant difference between the control and experimental groups in the pre- and post-tests, where the students who used UDL to learn photography developed more quickly than those in the control group. As well as this, the opinions of teachers confirmed that the use of UDL is beneficial in helping with the inclusion of the SID and SNSEN in the same classroom.;The findings further revealed the teachers' opinions on the advantages, drawbacks and obstacles to the application of UDL. The study has significantly added to our understanding of the contribution that UDL can make in developing professional skills for SID. The findings advance the current literature in the area of special education needs, particularly in respect of promoting the inclusion of students of intellectual disability within the same classroom as their non-SEN peers.
Date of Award8 Apr 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorVivienne Smith (Supervisor) & Helen Marwick (Supervisor)

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