Reflect on the types of plans presented in this lesson and the best practices for writing individualized plans for the online environment
Review and compare the two sample individualized student plans provided below. Both sample plans are written for the same student. Keeping in mind the best practices discussed in this lesson, consider the strengths and weaknesses of each plan and decide which you find to be the preferred option for the online environment.
- Which plan do you believe is the better option for the online environment (Plan A or Plan B) and why?
- Using specific examples, discuss the strengths of the plan which you believe make it better suited to the online environment.
- Are there any aspects of your preferred plan you would change to be better suited for the online environment? Please explain.
- What are the issues and weaknesses of the plan you decided was not the best choice for the online environment?
1. The Plan I Believe is the Better Option
I believe Plan B is the better option for the online environment because it not only provides specific accommodations to be implemented, but also has set a “clear length of extended time” on timed assessments and assignments. Plan B has a guideline for reduced coursework, which may be helpful for the teacher when reducing Sally’s coursework.
2. The Strengths of Plan B which I Believe make it better suited to the Online Environment
- Extended time on timed assessments. The length of extended time on timed assessments is specified (100% of the original amount of time). Since there will not be an in-person clock monitor, the time stamp serves as a monitor; therefore, it is crucial to specify the length of extended time on timed assessments.
- Extended time on assignments. It is specified that Sally has one extra school day to submit assignments for full credit and may also make arrangement with the teacher if more time is needed. In an online environment, all assignment submissions are time-stamped. The clear extended time on assignments (in this case, one extra school day) helps to determine if the assignments are submitted within the extended time frame.
- Communication/Student responsibilities. Plan B outlines the frequency (at least once a week) and means (via email, phone, synchronous session, etc.) for her teacher to initiate contact with Sally regarding her course progress. The plan states what Sally should include (ie. school work questions and issues encountered because of her disability) when communicating with the teacher. Very importantly, Plan B specifies that, “Sally will communicate with her teacher before the due date to arrange an alternate due date. “In an online environment, all communications are traceable and verifiable. The Communication Log can be used to verify the correspondences should there be discrepancies between stakeholders.
3. The Aspects of My Preferred Plan that I would Change to be Better Suited for the Online Environment
- I would add the required technical equipment/devices Sally needs for her online course to Student/Parent Responsibilities.
- I would add resource links, such as text-to-speech software download, to the accommodations.
- Instead of “Sally will attend synchronous sessions”, I would add an alternative to it, in case she is not able to attend the live session. If Sally is not able to attend the live session, she should watch the recording and verify that she has watched the recording.
4. The Issues and Weaknesses of the Plan that was not the Best Choice for the Online Environment
- Reduce course work. This accommodation needs to be more specific. For example, the number or the length of assignments to be reduced; the percentage Sally must scored to demonstrate mastery of standards.
- Provide a copy of notes or presentations if not already embedded in the course. Sally has a vision impairment; providing audio resources would be an alternative to reading materials.
- Make Sally aware of additional resources, review opportunities/activities and study guides in the course sidebars. This can be revised to be more specific, such as including video links to show Sally how to navigate the course.
- Student/Parent responsibilities. It is crucial that both Sally and her parent attend the Brightspace Help Session or watch the recording at the beginning of the semester. This will help them to know what issues and concerns they might encounter during semester and what assistance they would need.