Developments in technology have led to a paradigm shift in the education sector. Many learners have joined online courses for various reasons. While online learning has provided learners a chance to continue education, students with learning differences face various difficulties.
Identifying Learning Differences In Digital Classrooms
Learning differences refer to the different ways in which students learn and analyze concepts. These differences exist both in traditional learning settings and in digital classrooms. Teachers must identify these differences as they influence a learner’s ability to excel in learning. Online educators encounter learning differences brought about by various factors, including:
- Learning disabilities: These occur from birth and include disorders like autism, dyslexia, hearing impairment, etc., which slow down the learning process.
- English as a second language: Non-native speakers may have a harder time learning content in English.
- Social-economic background: Learners from poor backgrounds may not complete courses for various reasons like lack of school fees.
- Limited resources: Factors like poor internet connection and limited access to modern learning gadgets may slow down students’ academic progress.
These groups of learners need special attention, and teachers can make some provisions to make their learning easier. While there is no single solution, these considerations can address learning differences and make learning more rewarding, both for teachers and their students.
Set Goals for the Lessons
One reliable way to set the ball rolling is to introduce the learning goals at the beginning of every lesson. Checkboxes are one way to achieve this. When learners know what the teacher expects for each lesson, they can focus on the specifics and gauge their progress. Based on these goals, teachers can create assignments to establish their learner’s weak points and work at addressing them.
Presentation is a crucial element of the learning process and can make a big difference, especially where learning differences exist. There are various ways to address learning differences using the presentation, and some are as highlighted below:
Good text spacing prevents course material from appearing as monotonous blocks of notes, affecting learners’ concentration span. Well-spaced notes are also easier to comprehend.
- Font size
The font used in the coursework needs to be large enough for all learners to see without straining their eyes.
- Font Color
Color affects learning due to its powerful role in the audiovisual process that learning relies on. Colors such as green are friendly to the eyes and good complementation to the font.
- Visual Aids
Visual aids like images help learners understand learning material better and help address learning differences.
Provide Clear Notes Before Lessons
In the absence of notes, many learners are tempted to take notes during the lesson. Writing may distract them, and one way to ensure concentration is by availing notes before the online class session. Learners who can access notes before the lessons can try to understand the material for a better chance at retention during class. Besides, they identify complex ideas and get a chance to ask their teachers questions, allowing them to better understand the concepts.
Incorporate Transcripts or Video Captions
Nowadays, there are tons of useful online learning resources, including provisions for transcripts and video captions. These tools are friendly and allow students with learning problems to get an accurate presentation of the material. They help bridge differences in accents between learners and their teachers. Also, they allow learners with a hearing impairment to achieve their learning ambitions without discrimination.
Use Interaction Tools
Various online interaction tools improve the learning process by providing a communication channel. For example, live widgets allow teachers to check how their students work on activities and provide an opportunity for real-time communication. When a particular student is not paying attention or cannot proceed, their activities are blank, allowing their teachers to establish the problem and fix it.
Allow Blended Learning
While digital classrooms have taken the world by storm, learners need some physical encounters for better learning. When students attend a physical class, they learn from their peers and get first-hand information from their teachers. It is much easier for teachers to solve a learning problem when they meet their learners face to face than across a computer screen.
Allow Enough Time for Assignments
Assignments help teachers establish problem areas in the course material. However, students need adequate time to prepare and submit assignments. Rushed assignments may not offer an accurate presentation of learners’ progress. Also, learners with learning differences may need more time to complete assignments. Teachers can also encourage learners to compare papers provided by writing companies like DoMyEssay.
Provide Flexible Lessons
As a result of the various learning differences, teachers need to create flexible lessons to ensure all willing learners can excel. For instance, learners who have full-time jobs but are willing to study over the weekend can have a special weekend program.
All learners deserve a fair chance at education, and there is a need for learning institutions to make learning easier on online platforms. These measures can help ensure students get the most out of their digital learning experience.