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Special Education

Course Orientation Week
All OPEN NH courses begin with an optional face-to-face orientation, allowing participants to become familiar with course login procedures and overall course requirements. Orientation to the course continues online during the first week, so that participants become familiar with course expectations and get acquainted with their instructor and fellow classmates.

Six Weeks of Online Activities
Following the orientation, courses continue for six weeks, emphasizing theory-to-practice applications. Course work includes online discussions, reflections, readings, and projects. Course participants receive a certificate of participation that may be applied to their individual professional development plans.

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SE-01 Teaching and Assessing Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
This course will provide participants with an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals and parents to gain insight into the learning styles of students with significant cognitive disabilities and planning skills necessary to provide them with a successful learning experience. Participants will be able to address why assessment is important prior to the design of lessons for these students. Additionally, participants will gain hands on experience, supported by classmates and instructors, to include these students in the general education curriculum in a meaningful way regardless of the setting in which the student is placed. Participants will consider a wide variety of parental and professional input that strengthens their approach to instructing these students. Learners will establish criteria for mastery and adapt a lesson or activity for a learner with significant cognitive disabilities.

SE-02 Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Special Education but Were Afraid to Ask
This course provides an opportunity for elementary school teachers to gain an understanding of the special education process and to explore their role in that process in order to support instruction and learning in the classroom. Throughout the course, participants will become familiar with special education requirements, timelines and resources, explore strategies for collaboration and communication with other professionals and families, and enhance their ability to meet the needs of students with IEPs in their classrooms. This course is premised on the belief that students with disabilities are students first and that good instruction for all students is based on being responsive to individual learning needs.

SE-03  Special Students in Regular Classrooms: Technology, Teaching, and Universal Design
This course, co-developed by EDC and CAST (Center for Applied Special Technologies), provides an introduction to the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and strategies for implementing a UDL approach in instructional settings. Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching and learning and the development of curriculum and assessment that draws on current brain research and new media technologies to respond to individual differences. UDL curricula, teaching practices, and policies are inherently flexible and therefore may reduce the demand on educators to develop and implement modifications and accommodations to meet individual differences within general education learning environments. The basic premise of UDL is that a curriculum should include alternatives to make it accessible and applicable to students, teachers, and parents with different backgrounds, learning styles, abilities, and disabilities in widely varied learning contexts.  This course is designed to acquaint participants with UDL principles, and provide practical, hands-on experience using software tools and digital media for learning support. Participants will explore how these tools can be incorporated into their classroom practice, and begin preliminary steps to design a curriculum unit that utilizes these tools.

SE-04 Parent Involvement Strategies that Enhance Student Achievement
This course is designed to inform both regular and special education teachers about ways in which to invite and sustain parent involvement in your schools and programs. The course uses resources from Improving Relationships & Results: Building Family School Partnerships which were developed by National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring (NCSEAM) in collaboration with the Future of School Psychology Task Force on Family School Partnerships. Throughout the course you will explore a variety or resources and strategies to build and sustain a positive partnership with the parents of your students. As a final course project, you will design a plan for implementing at least three involvement strategies throughout the school year.

Courses Under Development




        Last update: September 23, 2010