Effective teaching in a classroom is not always straightforward. Teachers need to take into account the needs of all of the students in the group, and these needs often differ wildly. How can eLearning platforms help with this?
The very best classroom environments meet the individual needs of all its students, a place where they feel comfortable and listened to. A strong sense of the group working together still needs to be present. This is where teaching differentiation comes in and eLearning platforms are a great tool to improve an ever more personalised approach to classroom management.
#1. Why is teaching differentiation important?
When done well, teaching differentiation allows a group of students to work together on a collective project while still feeling their particular learning needs are being met.
In some language classrooms, students with very different experience and ability levels can be grouped together.
Teaching differentiation also needs to take account of different learning styles. Everyone has their own preferences and dislikes when it comes to their education. While some students may thrive in a certain learning environment, others may find that they are floundering.
There can be other key differences for teachers to keep in mind too. These include:
- Speed of learning; some students will learn a lot quicker than others
- Illness and time off; students who have missed classes are likely to need some catch up time
- Developmental disorders; conditions such as ADHD and autism can have a big impact in a learning environment, even when the students in question are adults
- Motivation; some students are very individually motivated, others need more encouragement from outside sources
Best practice teaching differentiation enables teachers to handle all these variables and ensure that every member of the group receives a positive educational experience.
#2. How does teaching differentiation fit into blended learning programmes?
Blended learning programmes can work particularly well for classroom groups that require a lot of differentiation. This is because blended learning at its heart introduces a range of different learning styles and resources, along with digital tools.
Introducing digital tools and resources, such as eLearning platforms, learning content management systems (LCMS) or learning management systems (LMS), teachers can ensure that every member of their group has direct access to learning activities that will be specifically beneficial to them.
#3. What other ways can eLearning platforms help to manage teaching differentiation?
eLearning platforms such as learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS) can be a big help in terms of teaching differentiation.
These digital learning tools can help teachers in a wide variety of ways. Below are some of the key ways they can do this.
1. Automated assessment helps to explore the levels of differentiation needed
Assessment has always been a very key part of the learning process. This is as true in online learning or blended learning environments as it is in more traditional classrooms. Learning management systems (LMS) come with inbuilt tools that assess students automatically as they work through learning and revision exercises.
The data that this gives to teachers can allow them to better understand the wide variety of ability levels in the group, and cater for them acordingly.
2. A learning management system (LMS) enables you to offer two different exercises simultaneously
Another excellent feature of an LMS is that it can make offering a blended learning programme extremely straight forward. Teachers can easily set and facilitate two or more different learning activities for students to complete at the same time.
3. LMCS give you access to high quality resources for all abilities
One key benefit of a learning content management system (LCMS) is that it offers teaching staff instant access to a huge range of high quality learning materials. This means that finding the right resources to suit any student, regardles of their needs, is quick and straightforward. They will quickly be able to find the right excersises and tailer their lesson to everyone in their classroom.
4. Many eLearning platforms offer revision exercises that are automatically differentiated depending on the user
One of the best things about many LMS and LCMS eLearning platforms is that they are intelligent. Often, the exercises a teacher sets the class, either within blended learning teaching, for homework, or as part of an online course, will automatically differ depending on the ability of the user.
The software will know when to repeat learning opportunities, and when to move on to the next topic. It will also be able to track weak areas and black spots in a students’ knowledge.
How can you find out more?
Could a learning content management system (LCMS) or learning management system (LMS) make the teaching differentiation easier to navigate within your organisation?
If you’re interested in finding out more, please read our introduction to the Voluxion eLearning platforms we offer, all specialised in for language teaching.
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