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Adaptation & Assistive Technologies Workshop

Adaptation & Assistive Technologies Workshop

A CARE and EBP collaboration

Overall learning goal

The aim of this workshop is to bridge the gap between learning and evaluation for students with special needs, using assistive technology. By the end of the session, participants attending this design workshop will: 

  • refresh their current knowledge of flexible pedagogy, adaptations and modifications for ÉHDAA students
  • become familiar with assistive technology tools to support classroom learning and evaluation for all students
  • make the connection between classroom practices using technology and MEES certification rules
  • apply their new knowledge to make a judgement in complex cases using assistive technology.

Synopsis

The Ministère de l’Education, de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) recognises that it may be necessary to adapt certain evaluation conditions in order to allow students with special needs (élèves handicapés ou en difficulté d’adaptation ou d’apprentissage - ÉHDAA) to demonstrate their learning. Adaptations are the changes in general and special education that are needed for the student to meet his/her goals and objectives. Adaptations do not change the rigor or expectations to the curriculum at the student’s grade. Modifications on the other hand, do change the rigor or expectations and should be made when the expectations are beyond the student’s level of ability.

CARE members worked together to develop a workshop in collaboration with the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) project to support consultants, administrators and teachers’ understanding of how to incorporate assistive technologies into the adaptation and modification process in class and for uniform exams. This workshop and its accompanying tools and resources are available for any education professional wishing to improve their knowledge of adaptations using assistive technology or offer professional development to staff on the topic. The day involves a mixture of presentations, activities and case studies.

Instructional design

Introduction

The facilitators introduce themselves, their special guests, and welcome subject consultants and teachers to the workshop. The agenda for the day is set out and the learning goals are reviewed. Team roles are introduced.

The focus for the day is based on feedback from the last session, where participants requested the opportunity to learn more about technology and adaptation.

Warm up

BIG Burning Questions - knowledge activation icebreaker:

Three steps to deciding the big burning questions to be answered.

Step 1: participants individually note their burning questions on adaptations, evaluations and assistive technology.

Step 2: participants share their burning questions with the group and the whole group separate questions into categories.

Step 3: the group select up to three ‘big’ burning questions to put on the wall to be addressed during the workshop.

Development
Goal 1

Goal 1: Refresh knowledge of flexible pedagogy & modifications

Activity 1 - Concept review:

Using the Venn Diagram and the MEESb guide provided, participants are given 20 minutes to review their understanding of flexible pedagogy, adaptations and modifications.

Goal 2

Goal 2: Learn about Tech Tools to support learning for all students

A presentation is given, covering the four competencies, on integrating assistive technology into teaching practices.

Activity 2 - Assistive technology demo:

Following the presentation, participants move around the room for an assistive technology demonstration, facilitated by an assistive tech specialist and organized around the main competencies of reading, writing, oral expression and math/science.

Goal 3

Goal 3: Make the connection between classroom practices using technology and MEES certification rules

Activity 3 - Knowledge application: case studies.

Participants build a student case for a selected technology for one of five possible evaluations:

  • elementary : end of cycle 2 (local or board compulsory)

  • elementary ministerial cycle 3

  • secondary cycle 1 (local or board compulsory)

  • secondary ministerial

  • wild card - no grade level

Goal 4

Goal 4: Apply their new knowledge to make a judgement in complex cases using assistive technology

Activity 4 - Sanction test simulation:

Using the cases built in activity 3, participants put their case to the test in a three minute phone call with their board’s sanction rep to check that the case is eligible. Four results are possible.

1) The case is complete and the evaluation can be carried out

2) The case is complete but needs to be submitted to MEES Sanction

3) More information is required

4) The case is not admissible

This activity is followed by a short debrief.

Sharing Success Stories: a short video is shown, of students successfully using assistive technology.

Conclusions

The ‘big’ burning questions are revisited by the group and any unanswered questions are addressed.

The learning outcomes for the day are summarised and participants and facilitators are thanked for their active engagement in the workshop.

Evaluation

Participants complete feedback sheets for the workshop.