eLearning for Students with Special Educational Needs: Illustrations from Two Special Schools
Keywords:Students with SEN, eLearning, mixed-method approach
eLearning enables new forms of education that can combine the strengths of face to face and distance education using technology. It is widely acknowledged that eLearning changes the role of the instructors and students, enabling a more personalized and effective learning environment. But to what extent can eLearning benefit students outside mainstream education? Adopting a mixed-method approach that involved classroom observation, focus group interview and survey, the present research investigated the benefit of eLearning on students with special educational needs (SEN) from the perspectives of schoolsâ€™ management, teachers, students, and parents. Using the Learning Environment, Learning Process, Learning Outcomes (LEPO) framework, our results indicated that eLearning could deliver a wide range of benefits to the LEPO of students with SEN. eLearning facilitates the transformation of traditional classroom into a more interactive learning environment. It also enables a more flexible learning process less constrained by location and time. Students who engage in eLearning were reported to have higher learning motivation. Parents and teachers could better monitor studentsâ€™ learning progress through eLearning technology. Teachers reported improvement on studentsâ€™ discipline-specific and generic learning outcomes, such as teamwork, technological skills, and self-expression ability. Achieving such benefits require careful design and planning. It is hoped that this paper could stimulate further discussion on how eLearning technology can be used to facilitate the learning of students with SEN.
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