Title page for ETD etd-11042005-111923

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Simoncelli, Andrew Patrick
URN etd-11042005-111923
Title Designing Online Instruction for Postsecondary Students with Learning Disabilities
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Leadership, Research & Counseling
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Janice Hinson Committee Chair
R. Kenton Denny Committee Member
William E. Doll, Jr. Committee Member
Yiping Lou Committee Member
Michael Hegarty Dean's Representative
  • distance education
  • learning disabilities
Date of Defense 2005-09-28
Availability unrestricted
This case study investigates the methodologies used to deliver online course content to postsecondary students with varying learning disabilities. The research provides a holistic picture of the students in their actual learning environment. Two college students diagnosed as learning disabled were studied with three non-disabled classmates in an online college learning environment. The purpose was to attempt to explain how the design of the course affects the studentsí attitudes and performance. The design of the course featured instructional methods that research has shown to be beneficial to students with learning disabilities. Some of these included digitally delivered instructional audio, various textual interactions between the students, and other assistive methodologies. The college level world history course for this study was taught via the World Wide Web through the Blackboard course management system. Interviews, observations, and academic documents were used to provide a complex, holistic picture of the learning experience of the students in this study. The course for this study was a traditional online course taught during the summer 2005 semester. The content and assessments for the students were the same as in previous offerings of the course and were identical for all students. The results provide an insight into the impact that these online instructional methods have on the studentsí attitudes and learning strategies. The intention of this study was not to provide definitive answers to the problems that face students with learning disabilities in postsecondary education, but rather contribute to the body of knowledge of this sometimes overlooked element of academia. The results help explain the behavior of the participants of this study and how they reacted to the online environment in which they were place.
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