Blended Learning in Personalized Assistive Learning Environments

Blended Learning in Personalized Assistive Learning Environments

Catherine Marinagi (Department of Logistics, Technological Educational Institute of Chalkis, Thiva, Greece) and Christos Skourlas (Department of Informatics, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/jmbl.2013040103
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Abstract

In this paper, the special needs/requirements of disabled students and cost-benefits for applying blended learning in Personalized Educational Learning Environments (PELE) in Higher Education are studied. The authors describe how blended learning can form an attractive and helpful framework for assisting Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D-HH) students to learn and communicate. The described blended learning experiment integrates face-to-face, synchronous, and asynchronous e-learning, bilingual teaching (oral language and Sign Language) in the mainstream class, teaching in parallel classes, and personalized access to distributed databases of educational material. At the core of PELE, the authors use Multimedu, a web-based tailored made tool for disabled students. This experimental tool includes applications of a traditional Learning Management System (LMS), supporting a multilingual dictionary of terms, multimedia management and social networking. Finally, this paper describes the use of the blended e-learning model in “Database I” course, given at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece.
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Learning Requirements, Needs And Objectives Of D-Hh Students

Over the last 20 years, and after a series of new favorable legislations, the participation of students with disabilities in higher education and the inclusion of disabled graduates in the labor market have increased. Simultaneously, the need to understand and address the specific needs of these individuals is increasingly recognized. Unfortunately, the case of people with disabilities is often translated as “typical disability or incapacity.” It is therefore important to be able to exploit the natural abilities of D-HH students, and understand “what deaf and hard of hearing people actually do instead of what they do not” (Brien, 1991). It is also important to understand that what they can or cannot achieve is associated not only with their condition but is also a result of several factors such as family (deaf or hearing parents), time detection of deafness, their training, the tools and technologies available and the services that meet their needs (Saur et al., 2003; Kourbetis et al., 2006; Hadjikakou & Nikolaraizi, 2008).

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