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Universal Design Element Utilization and Math Performance: Implications for Diverse Student Populations

Sat, April 13, 7:45 to 9:15am, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Floor: Level 5, Salon I


This study investigates the utilization of Universal Design (UD) elements in digital math assessments and their association with performance using 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress data. Findings reveal that while assistive UD elements like text-to-speech are linked to reduced math performance, active problem-solving UD elements (e.g., embedded pencil) and cognitive offload UD elements (e.g., elimination capacity) improve math performance. Text-to-speech is preferred by students with disabilities, English language learners, males, minorities, and low-proficiency students. However, students with intellectual disabilities, males, African American students, low-proficiency students, and those without extended time accommodations have lower utilization rates of embedded pencil or elimination capacity. Extended time accommodations and training on effective UD element use are recommended to empower diverse learners in math problem-solving.