Engaging Learners With Disabilities

external image 28925987_a406fb7191_m.jpg
Image by Onafly: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onafly/

Manager/ Facilitator: Heather Beebe – heather.beebe@tafensw.edu.au
Michele Perry – Michele.perry@tafensw.edu.au

Sponsoring RTO: TAFE NSW Sydney Institute Ultimo

Target client groups: disability; youth; disengaged learners

Project summary:
The project will bring together teachers (part-time casual and temporary) from all disability sections across all campuses within the Sydney Institute. The project aims to upskill VTE teachers by providing them with new teaching and learning strategies in blended learning. This will incorporate online teaching tools through the creation of a moodle for students with a disability.

The focus of this professional development will also enable teachers to manage the moodle which will then be made available to and be easily accessed by Sydney Institute teachers and staff and existing or potential students, other institutes, the community, industry and schools

Online presence:

EDNA - http://www.groups.edna.edu.au/course/view.php?id=767
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/tags/edisability
Moodle: http://www.sit.nsw.edu.au/moodle

Postcard from the Field:

Proposed LearnScope visit/s: Robyn 25 July, Alex 7 August

Team events :
June 26 Blogging and Online Journaling
June 30 Online Resources
July 26 and 27 Blogging
August 7 Moodle Workshop
August 15 and 16 Moodle
August 28 Podcasting Workshop
August 31 and 4 September Digital Storytelling
September 13 Moodle
TBA Moodle



FURTHER DETAILS:

Background to the project:
· Upskill teachers in creating a moodle space as an efficient and effective strategy for delivery of educational support
· There have been few training opportunities in e-learning available to part-time casual and temporary teachers in the disability section even
though they provide the educational support
· Greater opportunities for communication, easier access to resources and sharing of information and skills by teachers and students
across disabilities
· Extend networks and collaboration in Disabilities across all campuses, schools, community, other institutes and industry

Proposed project outcomes:
To learn about blended e-learning and other online resources from a variety of sources.
Learn to manage and organise the resources on the moodle
Understanding of moodle functions (chat rooms, notes, weblinks, forums.)

Benefits to client group:
· The teachers will have an increased knowledge of elearning which will extend and supplement educational practice through blended
learning and outcomes for the student target group.
· Access to disability moodle - meeting general and specific learning needs
· Across disability areas meeting specific learning needs through course notes, podcasting, plain English notes and weblinks to general
disability information, such as enrolment, study links, Centrelink and other agencies as well as specific disability information.
· Students across disability groups to trial Moodle access a work in progress

Evaluation strategies:
· Trial the Moodle in the Access educational support classes across disability areas
· Build accessing the Moodle into the class as a component of computer learning
· Providing a “One Stop Shop” of disability communication by providing easier access to notes, assessment tasks, outlines and web links
both within and outside of TAFE
· Clients providing feedback through surveys to project participants with Moodle development

We are capturing our learning via:
· Pre-project, post-project skills/knowledge assessment questionnaires and evaluation forms completed by participants
· Reflection times/journaling after workshops
· Meetings and brainstorming
· Emails and EdNA Group
· A Team Digital Story highlighting case studies of participants including anecdotes and quotes which will form our project evaluation
· The learning journey will be documented on the EdNA Groups website.
· Input to network groups

We hope to share our learning :
Sharing and collaboration will happen within and outside Sydney Institute through:

· Equity Meetings
· Disability teacher Consultant Meetings and Conference
· LearnScope Showcase Days in October 2006
· Presentations /staff development within TAFE,
· Links to industry and Community Groups
· Participation in online events
· Linking to other LearnScope projects with a similar focus
· Resources shared through EdNA Group

We’ll connect with others via:
· Equity Meetings
· Disability teacher Consultant Meetings and Conference
· LearnScope Showcase Day in October 2006
· Presentations /staff development within TAFE,
· Links to industry and Community Groups
· Participation in online events
· Linking to other LearnScope projects with a similar focus
· Resources shared through EdNA Group

Proposed project products/outputs:
· Team EdNA Group and a link to Moodle
· Podcasts that will be available on Moodle site
· Digital Story showcasing participants learning experiences
· Culminating in the development of a new resource Disability Moodle

The "No Formal Reporting " Report

Outcomes
An increase in knowledge and skill of part time teachers and temporary teachers in elearning through blogs, digital stories, podcasting and online resources and the creation of a Moodle on Disability .
With the skills learned, teachers can manage and organise resouces in this Learning Management System.
This Moodle can be accessed by Sydney Institute staff, existing or potential students and the community.

Issues
Difficulties in organisation of rooms and resources for training,
Difficulties with participant attendance from across campuses.
Trainer empathy and communication issues.
The increasing amount of online presence which took focus and time from our project's focus. In hindsight it would have been better to have had the Wiki, the EdNa and the Moodle without the Blog. This would have enabled us to have more to time to engage and create better elearning networks.

Future Directions
To continue to manage, maintain and update our Moodle
To further develop and extend the potential of blended learning with our Moodle.
To increase the use of Moodle through client participation and engagement across TAFE teaching sections and community based projects
To continue to promote the Moodle amongst Institute staff and the community.