An Assistive Computerized Learning Environment for Distance Learning Students with Learning DisabilitiesBy Klemes, Joel; Epstein, Alit; Zuker, Michal; Grinberg, Nira; Ilovitch, Tamar; Open Learning, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 19-32
Publication Date: February 2006
Study conducted to evaluate how a computerized learning environment could help students with learning disabilities who were enrolled in a distance learning course at the Open University of Israel. The research developed a CD-ROM that contained a complete study unit for an Introduction to Psychology course in the Hebrew language. The CD-ROM featured course text, which was synchronized with speech output. Adobe Acrobat 4.05 ME was used to include digitized study skill tools to support learning, which allowed the participants to complete the following tasks: (1) read a text that is displayed on the computer screen, and listen to the text while it is read out loud; (2) choose between 140 or 110 words per minute as the reading rate via Sound Forge software; (3) reread difficult paragraphs; (4) navigate through topics without having to listen to irrelevant text; (5) use different colors to highlight words, sentences, or paragraphs; (6) dictate notes via microphone while reading and listening to text; (7) assemble the highlighted paragraphs and notes in a separate file for later review; (8) change text display; and (9) search for specific words and sentences in the text. The study was conducted across two semesters, as 24 students with learning disabilities participated. After the participants completed the electronic unit and assignments, they were asked to respond to a 36-item attitude questionnaire, which was designed by the researchers. The study results indicated that the technology utilized in the study was highly beneficial to students with learning disabilities. The prospects for utilizing this type of technology in distance learning programs are discussed.
Published by: Routledge, a division of Taylor & Francis Group (Website:http://www.routledge.com)