Differentiated Instruction in Online Environments


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by Gail Taylor
This forum will explore differentiated instruction (DI) in online environments. DI is a flexible, holistic approach to teaching and student learning that recognizes all students are not alike in terms of their learning styles and/or types of intelligences, among other related concepts. We will be exploring ways to make assessments of student learning styles and multiple intelligences as a way to identify teaching best practices for diverse groups of students in online environments.

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Differentiated Instruction in Online Environments

  1. 1. Differentiated Instruction in Online Learning Environments: Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences Gail Taylor, M.Ed . University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Human Resource Education Ph.D. Candidate [email_address]
  2. 2. Introduction to Differentiated Instruction (DI) <ul><li>Teaching philosophy that promotes student diversity in </li></ul><ul><li>classroom settings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well-suited for adult learners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognizes individual students enter classrooms with different </li></ul><ul><li>abilities and motivations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acknowledges student culture that underlies individual abilities and motivations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Empowers students within boundaries of organizational </li></ul><ul><li>structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University, college, department, program, and classroom levels </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Bounded Learning <ul><li>“ Schools and other institutions, from households </li></ul><ul><li>to businesses to cultures, value certain ways </li></ul><ul><li>of thinking more than others.” (pg. 8) </li></ul><ul><li>“ People whose ways of thinking do not </li></ul><ul><li>match those valued by institutions </li></ul><ul><li>are usually penalized.” (pg. 8) </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Sternberg (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking Styles . New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Student Body before Conditioning– Patchwork Quilt Analogy (Quilt source: www.dorchesterlibrary.org)
  5. 5. Student Body after Conditioning – Double Wedding Ring Quilt Analogy (Quilt source: www.rockymountainquilts.com)
  6. 6. Educational Psychology Foundations <ul><li>DI integrates what is known about brain development, </li></ul><ul><li>constructivist learning theory, and learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Brain development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain-based learning and notion of multiple intelligences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Constructivist learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students construct knowledge by completing social relation activities and tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning styles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio, kinesthetic and tactile, visual </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. DI in Practice <ul><li>Every teacher has adopted DI in one way or another </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different types of assignments, more student choices, extending due dates, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible to make classrooms more responsive to students </li></ul><ul><li>through intentional and deliberate planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reasons, objectives, and goals for choosing a particular action clearly stated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Realizing DI requires reflection on practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking and monitoring of various materials and procedures on student learning and anticipated outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. DI Approaches <ul><li>Can differentiate instruction by content, process, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content – what is taught </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processes – how something is taught </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products – outcomes of teaching that are assessed to determine student learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Critical elements are choice, creativity, flexibility, and ongoing </li></ul><ul><li>assessment of teacher and student practices and processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher and/or student initiated assessments </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 4-Step Process (Source: www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/teaching/differentiate/planning/) <ul><li>Know your students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability levels, interests, behavior management issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a repertoire of teaching strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative learning, direct instruction, inquiry-based learning, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify a variety of instructional activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read a book, write a paper, do a web search, listen to music, go on a field trip, create a blog or wiki as a class project, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify different ways to assess student learning and </li></ul><ul><li>academic progress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formative and summative evaluations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Giving students options whether assignments should be graded or completed for credit/no-credit </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Targeted Instruction
  11. 11. Introduction to Learning Styles <ul><li>Audio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voices and other sounds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Kinesthetic and Tactile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doing and touching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creating and manipulating objects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Visual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images and other visual cues </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Assessing Learning Styles <ul><li>Learning styles can be assessed by administering </li></ul><ul><li>questionnaires and/or having conversations with students </li></ul><ul><li>Assortment of questionnaires available on Internet web sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.usd.edu/trio/tut/ts/stylest.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of South Dakota Trio Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/LSI/LSI.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pennsylvania State University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/vark.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Hawaii </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Available in multiple national languages </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Possibly Think the Same but Also Do Things Differently
  14. 14. Broad Categories of Intelligences <ul><li>Object-related </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled and shaped by objects encountered and interacted with in environments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Object-free </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Auditory systems (e.g., language, music) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Person-related </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inter- and intra-personal that counterbalance interactions and relationships with others </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Introduction to Multiple Intelligences <ul><li>Howard Gardner presented the MI theory in 1983 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes a cross-cultural perspective of human learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Believed there were 7 intelligences at the time theory was </li></ul><ul><li>formulated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List has now been expanded to include 9 intelligences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continuing to evolve as teaching practices shift in response to </li></ul><ul><li>societal pressures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also related to advancement of knowledge about human learning processes in different settings </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Gardner Intelligence Types <ul><li>Linguistic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read, write, communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Logical & Mathematical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns, reason, and thinking in a logical manner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visual & Spatial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think in pictures and visualization of outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Musical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make and compose music </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Gardner Intelligence Types (Cont.) <ul><li>Bodily & Kinesthetic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem-solving using one’s body </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good at relating to other people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intrapersonal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good at doing self-analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Naturalist (new in 1996) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to make distinctions in the natural world and the environment </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Assessing Multiple Intelligences <ul><li>Intelligences can also be assessed by administering </li></ul><ul><li>questionnaires and/or having conversations with students </li></ul><ul><li>Assortment of questionnaires available on Internet web sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.accelerated-learning.net/learning_test.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://jeffcoweb.jeffco.k12.co.us/high/wotc/confli3.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.literacyproject.org/DL/MultipleIntelligencesSurvey.htm </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Other Emerging Intelligence Types <ul><li>Successful intelligence – Robert Sternberg </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental abilities to achieve life goals by adapting to, selection of, and shaping environments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moral intelligence – Robert Cole and Ernst Haas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to distinguish between right and wrong </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Planning for the Future
  21. 21. Concluding Thoughts <ul><li>Academic institutions are exploring the adoption of various </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning technologies (e.g., electronic books, simulations, </li></ul><ul><li>text messaging, podcasting, wikis, blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancing personal pedagogical practices is a way for </li></ul><ul><li>teachers to become proficient at navigating what Curtis Bonk </li></ul><ul><li>and Kyong-Jee Kim have called the “perfect e-storm” </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiated instruction is a pedagogical practice that can </li></ul><ul><li>assist with determining how best to integrate new </li></ul><ul><li>technologies into classroom settings where there are diverse </li></ul><ul><li>groups of students </li></ul>
  22. 22. Additional Resources <ul><li>http://www.ascd.org/portal/site/ascd/menuitem.3adeebc6736780dddeb3ffdb62108a0c/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://differentiatedinstruction.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.disabilitystudiesforteachers.org/index.php?id=Differentiated%20Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/summerworkshop/walker/index.html </li></ul>