Review and compare the two sample individualized student plans provided below. Both sample plans are written for the same student. Keeping in mind the best practices discussed in this lesson, consider the strengths and weaknesses of each plan and decide which you find to be the preferred option for the online environment.
Plan A has many strengths:
Plan B is much more detailed than Plan A. Plan A has the following accommodations:
Reflect on your experiences with your students. Think of a situation in which online education may have been a preferable option for one of your special needs students or a student with an extenuating circumstance. If you do not have an example of a situation you have had as an educator, you may want to extend your thinking to your own experiences as a student, your own child’s experience, or choose a specific disability or special needs population you learned about earlier in this course.
At this time, I have not had a student with special needs in my online class. I have had students in my face-to-face classroom that have opted to go to a virtual classroom for other subjects. Students that often have anxiety from a traditional classroom setting, or difficulty coping with social situations, often do well in a virtual environment. The students that I have had experience with find comfort in their home surroundings and are able to alleviate the stress that keeps them from being successful in environments with triggers. With a virtual class often having many assignments and due dates, students suffering for anxiety must learn to manage the assignments and not trade on stressor for another.
Directions: Choose two of the student scenarios below. First, identify at least two difficulties each student may be experiencing in their online class. Then, discuss two best practices or specific strategies that might be helpful to each student.
Dustin has an IEP with accommodations for a hearing impairment; he is completely deaf. He is not currently doing well in your class and you are unsure why. He has not asked for help or attended live sessions since the class began. When you leave assignment feedback for him, he does not respond, even if you specifically ask him to respond. What will you do to address this?
While there are many issues that Dustin could be experiencing a few come to mind. The first is whether or not Dustin is using any add-on features to his computer to assist with the information. This could be be something that would help him to read any audio that is presented within the classroom.
The second difficulty that is effecting the his outcome in the course is the lack of responding. Having an open dialogue with students is essential to their success. It is unclear if this is an issue with the email, Dustin being lost and not communicating, or the lack of effort in the class. If it is a lack of effort, it could be that Dustin is giving up from being lost.
Best Practices/ Strategies:
When dealing with a student that has a disability it is important to communicate with all stakeholders early and often. Having an open line of communication is going to allow any future problems to be dealt with swiftly.
There are several ways to help a student within an online class. The first is making sure that all Powerpoints that are delivered in the classroom are accessible and if recorded has closed caption included. This will also help students that are not hearing impaired. The second best practice is having the teacher use their webcam when possible. Many hearing impaired students are able to lipread. This can help offset the closed caption with your Powerpoints.
Scenario #2:Joyce has accommodations for an Emotional/Behavioral Disorder. Her mother informed you that Joyce's specific diagnosis is Anxiety and Depression, and she sometimes does not respond well to correction. She plagiarized a large section of her essay for your class this week. How will you handle this situation?Difficulties:
The first difficultly that Joyce could be dealing with is the anxiety of the her workload. Due to the large amount of assignments that can place pressure on students, many students will feel anxiety. If a student is already having issues with anxiety, the issue will become compounded. It appears in the scenario that Joyce allowed the anxiety to affect her judgment.
The second difficultly that Joyce may be dealing with is time management. Many students are push work back until the deadlines catch up with them. This would exaggerate the anxiety and would follow along with the lack of motivation that often follows depression.
Best Practices/ Strategies:
The first best practice is always establishing clear and open communication with all stakeholders. This will keep all invested parties in the loop. This will help when issues such as plagiarism. This will ensure that all parties are aware of the issues and kept informed with academic dishonesty.
The second best practice when dealing with a student that has anxiety issues is creating a plan on how to deal with the course related task. It helps to think of the old question, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Break material down for small goals for this students.
The third best practice is being supportive. It is important to be supportive to all students, however it can be more important to establish a positive relationship with students that anxiety and depression.
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