meeting the needs of special needs learners online

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Meeting the Needs of Special Needs Learners Online. Natalie Holm Leslie Fetzer Jen Currin. Today we ’ ll look at…. What do we mean by “ special needs ” learners? Teaching courses using Universal Design for Learning Examples of UDL in NCVPS courses Best Practices Activity Examples. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Meeting the Needs of Special Needs Learners OnlineNatalie HolmLeslie FetzerJen Currin

  • Today well look atWhat do we mean by special needs learners?Teaching courses using Universal Design for LearningExamples of UDL in NCVPS coursesBest PracticesActivity Examples

  • In your experience, what challenges do students with disabilities face in regards to course delivery and interaction in an online course?

  • Not so TypicalStudents vary in:

    Type of disabilityAcademic abilityLevel of functioningEmotional/behavioral issuesAdaptive and organizational skillsCommunity/family support

  • Keep in mindStudents in our classroom are diverse in their needs and abilities

    The online environment can give students an advantage to recognize and adapt to that diversity.

    How do we teach a course that appeals to ALL students with such a variety of needs and abilities?

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • Have you used any of the following tools to differentiate instruction for students in your online courses?GoanimateVokiJing or other screencasting toolWimbaProntoAnimotoBlabberizeWallwisherToondooGlogsterDiscussion boadWiki

  • What other tools do you use to differentiate instruction in your online courses?

  • What does this look like?Multiple Means of Representation

    Information is broken down into smaller chunksVideos- concepts explained visually and verballyGuided notes- provide structure and organizationInteractive tools- students learn by doing

  • What does this look like?Multiple Means of Expression

    Use a variety of assessment methods (Discussion boards, wikis, wallwishers, glogsters, animotos, formative assessments, etc)Give students options/choicesIncorporate students strengths/weaknesses

  • What does this look like?Multiple Means of Engagement

    Hands-on Instruction- Interactive games/labsOne-on-one Instruction- Wimba (live/archived), Pronto, Bb messagesRelate content to students interestsMake connections with students (Announcements in Bb)

  • General Best PracticesEmphasize principles and overall themesDeemphasize textProvide more focus on less contentInclude concrete examples and hands-on activitesPromote cooperative group solutions

  • Specific Best PracticesInstructions:Put them in a numbered formatKeep the number of steps to a minimum (3-5.) If more steps are required, split it into two parts.Images:They should have a purpose and be tied to contentUse images as links instead of lengthy URLsTextUse large fonts (14pt+ or 4+ in Bb)Give more space for students to answer/work out problemsAudio:Create audio for all textAvoid computer-generated audio

  • Examples of ActivitiesBiology



  • What do students think?"My students love it! Their self-esteem has increased immensely. Decrease of behavioral issues. Increase in technology skills, as well as academic growth.

    The program has really kept the kids attention and interest. I thought once they got used to the program they would be bored or ready to complain. However, this has not been the case. The students enjoy the hands on activities and the interactive learning keeps them engaged. Moreover, I think the program's most unique quality is how it is so student paced.

    "WOW, we had a great day today. Amy got it!!! She has struggled with this for two weeks and got it today. My AP came in today and was impressed with what we were doing...She did love the fact that we were working in pairs on the white boards and kids were getting it and she was amazed to see them multiplying trinomials.

  • Summary

    You can have technology without the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and UDL without technology, but using them together is truly effective in meeting the diverse needs of our students.

  • Questions?Jen Currin ( Fetzer ( Holm (



    *POLL: ***JEN*JEN





    *NATALIE: Chunking: so important for students with special needs. One concept presented at a time. (Videos: See it, hear it; Notes: Read it; Interactive tools: Do it)*NATALIE: Options/choices: build in different options to test the same material (English: an essay, song, or even verbal quiz) Allow students to choose. Variety: throughout the course we try to incorporate not just quizzes/tests, but projects, etc. (biology- diorama; english- toondoos, glogsters, etc.) *NATALIE: Use of wimba and pronto to work individually with students. Example of relating info to students interest?? *LESLIE


    **LESLIE*LESLIE: You can have technology without UDL, and UDL without technology, but using them together is truly effective**

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