Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Bill Flora

Committee Members

Don Good, Ryan Nivens, Stephanie Tweed


The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify the perceptions of how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) impacts motivation in first-year community college students in rural East Tennessee. This study investigated the effects of UDL on motivation of first-year community college students in East Tennessee. This involved multiple sections of courses participating in a UDL pilot training program with the college’s Instructional Design department. Two of the courses were part of the UDL pilot, and two of the courses were teaching the Standard approved Master Curriculum. The study had a total of 109 participants, and 9 research questions were analyzed at the .05 significance level. Interactivity was significantly higher in the English UDL courses than the Education UDL courses. Rural students and nontraditional students were significantly more motivated in the UDL courses. There was no difference in predicted grades between the UDL and non-UDL courses. While results of this study did not align with other studies being published regarding the success of UDL programs, it provides good groundwork for more in depth studies. It also supports the idea that courses should implement UDL from beginning to end rather than just isolating one module for a UDL design.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.