American Public University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 4752-4761
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
While many universities have created various approaches to working with students with disabilities, there are still some barriers in the physical classroom. However, this has started to change for students with disabilities as more educational institutions have started to adopt more e-learning opportunities. Over the past two decades, the field of distance learning has changed drastically with the incorporation of more technological advancements and the Internet. Thus, more schools have started to look at the best practices that other educational institutions have been using with success. This presentation will explore the best practices used by one university system – The American Public University System, as well as several other online schools. Many universities in meeting the educational and accommodation needs of students with disabilities have created, implemented, and evaluated a variety of teaching tools. The main focus of this presentation will be to demonstrate how e-learning can be used as a strategic tool for breaking down barriers and enriching the diversity of learning in the e-learning environment. As such, this educational platform can be used for learning and offering applications for learners to apply their learning in real world situations.

The focus of this presentation will over some problems encountered in the classroom setting by students with disabilities. Historically, most university instruction has been focused on content knowledge (instructor-centered), but not always on the student (learner-centered). As a result, this presentation will examine how e-Learning is filling this void and helping to focus on the learner, especially students with disabilities. However, there are some obstacles or barriers in education that do prevent students with disabilities from succeeding in both the face-to-face and e-Learning environments. Nonetheless, this presentation will focus on how e-Learning can be used as a strategic tool to help overcome some of these barriers.

Finally, as more organizations and companies have adopted best practices, such as Best Disability Employment Practices (BDEP), to help improve the nature and quality of life for employees with disabilities, there are still some barriers (Barrett, 1999). This presentation will help to demonstrate to the attendees how technology is being used in Higher Education to help better prepare a more qualified and able workforce. Further, this presentation will help to demonstrate how e-Learning, if properly designed, developed, and implemented, can be used as a strategic tool for all students to learn, grow, and excel in both the classroom and workforce settings. E-learning has provided educators yet another tool in reaching out to more students than ever before. Consequently, more students with disabilities are expecting more from e-learning in order to achieve equal (and sometimes better) learning opportunities.
e-learning, virtual learning, strategic tools, disabilities, best practices.