Capstone Project: Assessing the Performance of Disabled Students

Pages: 4 (1338 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education: Administration  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] With the appropriate information regarding the student, the online teacher would be able to formulate a learning environment that is suited to the student and is accommodating to the needs of the student. Disabled students can perform better in an environment that is encouraging and accommodating to their needs and this environment can be offered by distant learning.

Accessibility issues are the most prevalently reported reasons for students with a disability not being able to perform better. However, assessment of the courses should also be analyzed because the lecturers or assessors do not consider that disabled students might express themselves differently than nondisabled students (Burgstahler, Corrigan, & McCarter, 2005). This means that the students might have understood the course or topic, but they only have difficulty expressing or answering the question as expected. Taking into consideration the disability aspects of the student, the lecturers assessing the coursework would be better informed and they would assess the coursework based on the student’s disability. Online courses should be designed in the same way that classroom courses are designed. It has been established that only 33 percent of the schools offering distant learning have been able to cater to the needs of disabled students (Burgstahler, 2015). Of these institutions, only a handful have managed to pay much attention to the assessment aspect for the students.

Strategies for accommodating students with a disability will include course accommodation, exam accommodation, external support, and assistive technology. Course accommodation entails structuring the course to suit the needs of the students like increasing the amount of time required to complete the course or making changes to the course in order to have the content suitable for disabled students. Moisey (2004) posits that exam accommodation requires that disabled students be given additional time to complete an exam. There should also be assistance when presenting the question. Disabled students have different needs and it is vital that the course is able to accommodate them when they are doing the exam. External support services entail having an academic strategist being involved in the development of the course. Offering support that is geared towards assisting the student especially when they seek assistance using the help function of the course. Assistive technology requires an assessment be conducted to determine the needs of the particular student. Adaptive technology or equipment should be provided to the student to aid in their coursework. Some of the assistive technology include text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and screen reader software (Moisey, 2004).

It is no lie that online programs are here to stay. Just like in the traditional learning setting, the success of virtual learning environments depends on how institutions address the key factors that are aimed at disabled students. Students enrolling in online classes should be given the same opportunities that are available to their counterparts and disabled students should be bundled together with nondisabled students. Understanding the special needs of the students will allow the institutions to tailor their courses and offer the required assistance and accommodation required by the students (Burgstahler et al., 2005). Assessment will also factor the needs of the disabled students and there will be consideration being given that support and recognize a student\'s disability during an assessment. The courses should also take note of the different learning styles that are employed by different disabled students. Understanding these learning styles will ensure that slow learning students are given ample time to cover a course and are also given additional time during the examination.

References

Burgstahler, S. (2015). Opening doors or slamming them shut? online learning practices and students with disabilities. Social Inclusion, 3(6).

Burgstahler, S., Corrigan, B., & McCarter, J. (2005). Steps toward making distance learning accessible to students and instructors with disabilities. Information Technology and Disabilities, 11(1).

Heiman, T. (2006). Assessing learning styles among students with and without learning disabilities at a distance-learning university. Learning Disability Quarterly, 29(1), 55-63.

Moisey, S. D. (2004). Students with disabilities in distance education: Characteristics, course enrollment and completion, and support services. Journal of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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