Presentation on theme: "Catherine Gerrard and Valerie Norval Centre for Academic and Professional Development Virtual Learning Environments : Removing barriers and enhancing the."— Presentation transcript:
Catherine Gerrard and Valerie Norval Centre for Academic and Professional Development Virtual Learning Environments : Removing barriers and enhancing the learning experience for students with disabilities.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) Introduced in September 2002: Legislation aimed to ensure that disabled people have equal opportunities to benefit from and contribute to learning services. What are we required to do? Make reasonable adjustment. What is reasonable adjustment ? Any action that helps alleviate a substantial disadvantage
Introduction of Virtual Learning Environment and Disability Discrimination Act Need to enable staff to fully exploit the use of the VLE. (student driven) Use of the VLE takes the need for inclusive curriculum into account. Extension of Disability Act Dec 2006: specific duty Key requirement: that disabled students have meaningful, active and appropriate involvement in learning and teaching activities.
For information on Disability Equality Duty See Scottish Disability Team website at: Article : The Disability Equality Duty: Implications and Opportunities for ICT provision in Higher Education Institutions and Colleges of Further Education.
E-learning staff development programme The project: to embed SENDA into staff development for e-learning – avoid possibility of embedding weak practice. Focus group of 8 students with various disabilities. Feedback from this group used to inform the staff development programme for e-learning.
Using the VLE to remove barriers Pedagogical application : Overall, enhanced the face-to-face learning experiences by: provision of lecture notes in advance (in some instances this increased privacy) majority no reduction in attending lectures collaborative learning and use of discussion boards - mixed reaction dyslexia – negative speech and mental health problems - positive physical – both positive and negative
E-learning staff development programme Implications for pedagogical application of VLE Promotion of a blended approach The use of discussion boards, management, assessing students contributions, offering alternatives. Application of group work facility – can prevent feelings of isolation. Group space allows for better communication and tracking of group materials amongst students. Assessment – time limits, types of assessment, use of diagrams/graphics.
E-learning staff development programme Practical application of VLE: Keeping it uncluttered Unused areas where nothing is stored Need for uniformity – consistent appearance and structure Use of colours and fonts Inclusion of diagrams and graphics Using assessment
E-learning staff development programme Implications for practical application : Management and maintenance of VLE site Structuring content Use of colours and fonts – disability guidelines Assessment – be prepared to make adjustments and set up separate areas. Copyright directive and disability
E-learning staff development programme Strategic aims: The promotion of a holistic approach to SENDA To have all first year modules on VLE E-learning co-ordinator in each School Main contact with CLT – Inclusive learning network Continuing provision of workshops.
Conclusion: Involvement not just consultation Students involvement has informed the design and content of the e-learning programme. Raises awareness and provides staff with the opportunity to be inclusive at the curriculum design stage.
Contact Details: Centre for Academic & Professional Development Valerie Norval Learning Technologist Tel: Cathy Gerrard Lecturer Tel: