Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education: A Concept Analysis

Sherrilyn Coffman
Christine Draper


Research has shown that the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework has significant potential for diverse learners in a variety of settings. Although UDL has been utilized in K-12 for some time, there are few publications utilizing this framework in academic nursing, staff development, or patient education. This concept analysis, using Rodgers' Evolutionary Concept Analysis, differentiated the surrogate terms, practical examples, antecedents, attributes and outcomes of UDL in higher education, based on 45 articles. The analysis represents an initial step in understanding how UDL application can further support nursing education and curricula design. Nursing students can directly benefit from two major aspects of UDL: (a) its emphasis on flexible curriculum, and (b) the variety of instructional practices, materials, and learning activities. As the student population in nursing continues to diversify, it is imperative to develop curricula that support diverse students effectively.