Innovative computer based professional learning for teachers. Supporting the inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorders

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1 Innovative computer based professional learning for teachers Supporting the inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorders

2 National Education Reform and Disability Education Disability Professional Teaching Standards (2012) Empowering Local Schools: performance and accountability (2013) Australian Curriculum (2013) National Data Collection Students with Disability (2013) DDA 1992 and Disability Standards for Education (2005) National Disability Strategy NDIS legislation (2013)

3 What makes this course so effective? Delivery model trained tutors lead each session sustainable and strategic approach to ongoing training, including in rural and remote areas capacity to respond to changing whole school needs flexible delivery that meets the differing needs of staff Course content Australian and international content based on current research education focus supporting teacher knowledge, competence and confidence tailored to meet specific jurisdiction need engages adult learners

4 How is the course delivered? Supported online learning model includes 3 sessions with a trained tutor takes 20 hours to complete Self-paced course over 8-10 weeks Courses are delivered to cohorts of up to 12 participants to enable professional dialogue and support The Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders course is registered against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers Course is by license

5 Model of delivery The whole online course concept is fantastic especially in the 'remote' environment I work in. Physically attending regular courses is a challenge in my role and a difficult commitment so having this online flexible opportunity was great. Even though being online, I did feel supported by my tutor and feel the faceto-face sessions are invaluable as they reengaged me and suited my hands on learning style. I would be interested in participating in other online courses. Classroom teacher - Northern Territory Qualitative data from participant forums

6 Who is accessing this course? Since 2008 the NSW Department of Education and Communities has been delivering Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) The course was trialled, tested and evaluated. To date over school personnel in NSW, Qld, SA and NT have completed the ASD course Every public school system in Australia Teachers and other education personnel wanting to develop their understanding and skills in teaching and supporting students with ASD

7 Where is the course being delivered in 2014? Northern Territory Western Australia South Australia Queensland New South Wales A.C.T. Victoria Tasmania

8 Snapshot from across the country New South Wales (2008) course places individuals Northern Territory (2010) course places 874 individuals South Australia (2012) course places individuals Queensland (2012) course places individuals ASD ASD 539 ASD ASD 1 982

9 Confidence and teaching As a young teacher I have now met with experienced teachers in this area and have a fantastic resource base. I have increased my awareness and knowledge of children with ASD and can make the necessary adjustments to my teaching to cater for the child's needs. I have learnt about using social stories and am eager to implement them in my classroom. Third year teacher- New South Wales

10 What is the course structure?

11 Impact on teaching I really enjoyed this course. It was great that it was online and you could access it whenever you had a spare moment. I thought it was really well set out and easy to follow, and all the videos and animations were great! This course has helped me to gain a much better understanding of ASD and the various ways it can affect children (and even adults). It has given me some valuable ideas on how to approach these students in a mainstream class and some strategies to use to help my students gain more from their time in the classroom. I would recommend this course to every teacher. Classroom teacher- Northern Territory

12 Snapshot of course content

13 Snapshot of course content

14 Feedback and evaluation data New South Wales ( 2008) Northern Territory (2010) South Australia (2010) Queensland (2010) ASD ASD 539 ASD 1307 ASD % completion rate 88% refer back to course 90% completion rate 72% refer back to course 94% completion rate 86% refer back to course 92% completion rate 90% refer back to the course 97% would recommend the course to others

15 Pre course Post course Pre course Post course Pre course Post course 100% Pre and post course evaluations Teacher knowledge and understanding Teacher use of appropriate intervention skills Teacher confidence in meeting students needs 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% excellent adequate limited none

16 Changing trend in course uptake since 2008

17 Leadership impact As a leader it has given me some good strategies for developing some whole school practices in the future to support students with ASD. It has increased my understanding and knowledge and has given me additional strategies that I will use to support students, their families and staff. Principal - primary school South Australia

18 Value of whole school training It is good for a school to be on the same page in relation to students with ASD. Doing this course as a whole school enables the teachers at our school to have common understandings and a toolbox of skills and strategies to implement with regards to supporting the students with ASD at our school. A consistent approach that may cross over from one year level to another will surely help those students. Seeing resources being used with children with ASD in the online videos was a great resource. Primary teacher - North Queensland

19 Available courses Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders Understanding and Managing Behaviour Understanding Motor Coordination Difficulties Inclusion for Learners with Speech, Language and Communication Needs Understanding Dyslexia and Significant Difficulties in Reading Understanding Hearing Loss

20 Increased teacher knowledge My confidence is greatly improved. Although I had a general understanding of the experiences and needs of students with ASDs, a greater depth of knowledge is obviously a valuable key to greater confidence. I also feel more legitimately able to address the needs of these students (and communicate with their parents) with some certified training behind me. High school teacher- New South Wales

21 Online learning continues to be an effective professional learning experience for teachers, meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders. More teachers are choosing to participate in the courses and evaluations indicate that they use the resources after completion. Teachers embed their learning through classroom practice.

22 For further information:

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