INDIVIDUALLY TAILORED-E- LEARNING
COMBINING REMEDIAL AND SYNCHRONOUS E-LEARNING FOR
LEARNING DISABLED STUDENTS
College of Education, Technology & the Arts, Seminar HaKibbutzim (ISRAEL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
A two- year experimental project conducted by special education students mentored young learning-disabled pupils in basic skills. The process combed individual one-on-one school sessions with e-learning group session's afternoon.
The premise of this project was that special education students can be equipped to deploy the latest individually-tailored teaching methods in technology-rich settings by training them in three areas: (a) the theory of teaching basic skills, (b) the methodology of teaching special pupils, and (c) the methodology of online e-teaching and the use of e-learning tools.
The project’s three objectives were to (a) provide practical training in one-on-one individually-tailored work with learning disabilities pupils, in regular schools, (b) provide practical training in the online individually-tailored teaching of groups of special education pupils, and (c) to strengthen partnership and collaboration between college, school and community.
24 special education students mentored 24 third-to-sixth-year learning-disabled pupils at regular schools in basic mathematics and language skills. The pupils were selected from an urban population with long-standing ties to the Seminar HaKibbutzim College. The student mentors all came from a Workshops with Pupils course, which trains students in individually-tailored teaching in the field of basic skills (mathematics and language). Participation in the project was part of their compulsory assignments. The students were obliged to take another course in using InterWise teaching.
Weekly one-on-one lesson at school comprised interviewing, observation, testing and applying an individually-tailored intervention programme. The student mentors were supervised by, and discussed their work with college specialist.
E-learning group sessions consisted of enrichment and expansion lessons derived from the participants’ one-on-one sessions and adjusted to the needs and character of the group. E-learning took place at pupils own home; group composition was fixed the same three pupils and the same mentors.
Throughout the project the students mentors themselves underwent the experience of being mentored by college specialist, and applying the theoretical, pedagogical and technological material taught them in weekly sessions at the college. This deliberate ongoing linking of theory, and practice formed the basis for the students’ new insights and understanding into the mentoring process.
The project’s training objectives were fully met: the students absorbed and applied the tools and techniques for teaching the learning-disabled pupils. They also successfully applied the innovatory technologies for working with groups of pupils. The project also demonstrated the student mentors’ use of special teaching methods, the results of which are now being systematically analyzed and which will be reported separately.
The project’s objectives with respect to the partnership and collaboration between college, school and community were only partially met: the acceptance and support shown to the college staff supervising the project by the local authority and the school left something to be desired and left many technological problems unsolved. Although the pupils displayed great enthusiasm for the innovatory technologies the afternoon group sessions enabled them to use, the tended to participate partially.
Keywords: special education, teacher education, learning-disabilities, synchronous e-learning, tutoring.