Online courses are a useful tool for educators to support students. Students have individual needs to be successful in their coursework, and Pathblazer lessons are designed to support students with various needs. Students with disabilities, in particular, are diverse and could struggle in one or more of the following areas:
- background knowledge
- vocabulary acquisition
- language processes
- reading fluency
Every lesson in Pathblazer includes a gradual-release instructional model so students receive both the instruction and practice they need to master each skill. Engaging onscreen instructional videos teach students about the skill or concept. Students receive examples, modeling, and real-world contexts in a dynamic and fun environment. As students work through an activity, the supports and scaffolds are reduced, so students have more of a chance to work on their own. Students will still receive immediate feedback if they make a mistake, but the feedback becomes more limited in scope. Students then have an opportunity to practice the skill they were just taught. Scaffolds, like hints and reteaching, help students become competent at the skill without getting frustrated. Activity quizzes and unit tests inform continuous feedback for students and teachers. This way, if additional intervention is needed, it is known immediately so the student isn’t stuck in a loop of frustration and can accelerate forward.
Read our case study on Randomized Controlled Trials using Pathblazer to learn more about how Pathblazer impacts student reading achievement.
Below are some ways accommodations in an online class can help support students with disabilities:
|Large print text
|Screen resolution, browser
|Fewer items placed on one page
|Lesson design breaks content into digestible chunks
|Various communication options
|Device that filter out extraneous sounds
|Headset and computer
|Immediate feedback with non-repetitive reteach
Tools found in Edgenuity content to support elementary students (Pathblazer/HyBridge):
- Learning activities have built-in transcripts to view during or download and print.
- Incorporated audio in activities for most learning content
- Built-in read aloud for K-2 content assessments
- Select activities include a hint button with examples from explicit instruction
- Age-appropriate writing processors
- scaffolds the writing process from pre-writing through the final draft including an equation editor
- Embedded toolbar provides access to a variety of tools including a messenger linked directly to the teacher
|Vocabulary acquisition both explicitly and implicitly
|Student-directed pacing allows students to repeat coursework for improved understanding
|Activates students’ background knowledge to teach new ideas
|Direct instruction to practice a myriad of words, including both academic and figurative language
|Charts, graphs, pictures, illustrations, and animations provide context for spoken and written words
|Builds students’ independent learning strategies. Models predicting and summarizing—along with other metacognitive strategies—for students.
|Words in assignments are hyperlinked to an extensive, interactive glossary
|Courses add cultural relevance to language
|Provides a clear, streamlined environment for the writing process
|Word-learning strategies include word part exploration (morphology)
|Lessons have scaffolded support built in. Students can choose to see hints, strategies, review the concept or move on, etc.
|Personalized Instruction — custom assignments with custom set mastery levels
|Select passages of text are supported with audio, to build reading skills and fluency
|Illustrates lesson concepts with graphic organizers
|Highlighted text in read-aloud passages
|Makes concepts meaningful using real-world examples and applications
|Reading fluency activities help students practice reading quickly and smoothly
|Scaffolds learning to ease students into new concepts
|Explicit phonics instruction helps English learners match sounds with written letters
|Allows students to use multiple and varied response options
|Transcripts for video-based direct instruction segments can be used with text readers and translation programs, allows for guided reading.
|Immediate feedback with non-repetitive reteach within Supported Practice activities.