Universal Design for Learning- the benefits of technology enhanced learning for students with disabilities

Kearney, P. and O’Leary, E. (2011) Universal Design for Learning- the benefits of technology enhanced learning for students with disabilities. [Conference Proceedings]

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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Abstract

The Regional Assessment & Resource Centre was established in early 2007 to increase the participation of students with Specific Learning Difficulties at third level through the provision of assessment services and research outputs to inform and support the use of interventions for students. The initiative involved the five colleges in the BMW region- AIT, GMIT, NUIG, LYIT and IT Sligo. Part of the work of the initiative included a survey of students with Specific Learning Difficulties to learn more about their experience of learning at third level and the success or failure of learning interventions focusing on assistive technology and learning support. 97% of students reported that technology increased their functional independence and all users of literacy support software reported that it improved their performance. Students stated that they benefitted not just from specialized technology but also from mainstream technology and benefits gained were on a par with some of the specialized technology. The positive impact of technology enhanced learning became more evident when exploring the area of assistive technology abandonment which in most cases results in negative outcomes for students as they are not receiving the performance and functional independence benefits which it could potentially provide. Usually the reasons for abandonment are technological dysfunction, discomfort and self-consciousness in using a device which identifies them as having a disability however the primary reason students gave for abandonment of assistive technology was that they simply no longer needed it. They no longer needed it because of changes in teaching and learning, principally the increased use of electronic documents and online learning tools such as Moodle and Blackboard. These findings endorse the training of mainstream teaching staff in accessible technology enhanced learning which has the added benefit of supporting the learning and personal development outcomes of students with disabilities.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 20:03
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2015 21:40
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2628

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