What can ONLINE tuition do for SEN learners?

School child participating in online tutoring

Learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) can benefit from online or remote learning.

For many learners with SEN, the use of remote learning can take them to a more progressive space. It can take them to a place away from the busy school environment and to a destination where materials and lessons are adapted just for their personal needs.

Some of the daily challenges that learners with special or additional needs often face may be easier to overcome thanks to their engagement process with online learning.

Schools regularly utilise online learning platforms to assist students’ learning. These software packages – with teacher guidance – have had a positive impact on the needs of students. An online tutor session can help further.

At TuitionWorks we employ solution-based tutors who look develop sessions to attend to the learners individual needs. The learning in the sessions is both contextualised and embedded. In many cases, the steps to achieve a positive learning path in an online environment are small. Some students require a little more endeavour to achieve the positive learning experience they’re looking for. This positive experience is almost always attainable with the right assistance.

Learning difficulties such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia or autistic spectrum conditions, students with visual and hearing impairments, mental health conditions, chronic fatigue or pain conditions can all be catered for to some extent by quality tuition.

Practical and inclusive teaching and learning approaches will not only support SEN learners online but will also benefit the wider student cohort. All the strategies outlined here actually work both in an online or remote learning context.

Inclusive teaching and learning 

It is useful to introduce a way of thinking about inclusive teaching and learning to help us focus on the challenges our SEN learners face.

The screen that learners use when attending an online lesson acts as a lens where learning happens. This lens is there to provide students with the necessary software to promote successful learning. Specialist software programmes may also be used to enhance a SEN student’s experience.

For example, screen readers or magnification tools or alt text for images can act as powerful learning aides to assist students with visual impairments.

Making best use of the tools available

Students who do not have access to specialist equipment can still benefit from the power of learning online with their tutor’s assistance. It’s all about how a teacher utilises the tools available to them.

For example, background colours can be changed to ensure a good contrast between background and text; pastel colours, for example, are particularly effective. Some other effective techniques include making use of spacing on the page, using headings and bullet points, and using simple things like accessible sans serif fonts and highlighting key words.

There are many, many more ways a tutor can adjust to the needs of a SEN learner. From personal experience, the use of noise cancelling headphones, screen enlargement and numerous highlighting tools have been successfully used to aid the progress of SEN learners.

At TuitionWorks all of our tutors are well equipped to know that there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to learning. They are experienced in using the state-of-the-art technology available and have the adaptability to suit their learners’ needs.

Federico Antonelli

Andrew Hartshorn

Maths tutor at TuitionWorks

I have over twenty years’ experience of teaching both children and adults. I trained as a primary school teacher after a spending a number of years abroad teaching English as second language. 

After qualifying with a PGCE in 2004, I attained my Masters Degree in Education. I believe in keeping my skills sharp and recently completed an online writing course with Harvard University.

Book Andrew today →

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