Assessment and Instruction for Learners
with Low Incidence Disabilities
During the Fall of 2013, I had the opportunity to work with one of my advisors, Dr. Stephanie MacFarland, to create an online course based upon an existing in-person course. This course has been delivered during two semesters, and it is focused on educating students with low incidence disabilities from an inclusive perspective. There is an emphasis on assessment and adaptations to support the independence of students with low incidence disabilities. For their semester project, students make an adaptation for a student. The course uses current textbooks and literature to address the topics of specific disabilities, assistive technology, and facilitating IEP team meetings. The course schedule is included at the end of the syllabus posted below. This was an important learning experience for me because I needed to plan the best ways to deliver the same content through an online format. I had to consider how to deliver the content online; for example, through readings or presentations.
The course schedule in the syllabus is designed to be supportive of online learning in that it clearly shows the subject for the week as well as the readings, websites to view, reflection to post, and assignment. The content that the students learned was similar to that of the in-person class; however, the way the students learned the content and how they demonstrated their learning was different.
Sample Unit on D2L
This is a screenshot from the D2L module for Unit One in the course. I developed the items for each unit, in collaboration with Dr. MacFarland. The submodule headings clearly align with the schedule in the syllabus.
Sample Unit Overview
I developed an overview document for each unit in the course. Each Overview contains the objectives, key terms, instructions, list of the readings, websites to view, as well as the directions for reflection posts and assignments. Given the online format, this overview can serve as a checklist for students, so that they clearly understand what is included in the module. This is the overview document provided with Unit one.
For the final project in this course, students create an adaptation for a student with multiple, physical, or intellectual disabilities. This is an assignment that students have been completing in the in-person class for several years. During the Fall of 2013, the student taking the course was able to successfully complete the project with a student at her school. However, the following year that the course was offered, the student needed to complete a slightly modified version of the assignment because she did not have access to a student with multiple, physical, or intellectual disabilities. This assignment provides the students an opportunity to demonstrate skills gained over the semester: assessment, writing a can-do profile for the student, and developing an instructional plan for teaching the use of the adaptation. Students present their adaptation through an audio cast.