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Indiana University Bloomington

Learning Disability Related Teaching Tips

  • Take initiative. If you notice a problem, talk to the student in private.
  • Provide a detailed syllabus and assignment descriptions.
  • Give directions in writing and orally.
  • Present material in a variety of ways: visual, aural, role plays, etc.
  • Build skills gradually over the semester and give frequent feedback.
  • Allow alternative testing formats and/or extended time where appropriate.
  • Avoid looking annoyed when a student asks a question you have just answered.
  • Keep students' attention through voice modulation, gesturing to emphasize significant points.
  • Help students to organize, synthesize, and apply information.
  • Consider putting a statement in your syllabus encouraging any students with special learning needs to discuss them with you.
  • Do not assume that a student with a learning disability will come forward by him or herself.
  • Suggest possible resources the student can explore in order to address the patterns of difficulty if the student does not disclose him or herself as having a learning disability.
  • Build rapport with the student having a learning disability and establish a good one-on-one relationship with the student.
  • Do not ignore students with learning disabilities and think that you are sparing them embarrassment..
  • Find out how much the student knows about his or her disability.
  • Take advantage of students' diverse abilities and not to overemphasize their disabilities will help them to excel in their studies.
  • Look for opportunities where the student can demonstrate existing knowledge to help the student enhance his/her confidence.
  • Review major concepts and provide multiple opportunities to apply concepts to new situtation throughout the semester.
  • Try to prepare students for papers and other assignments by giving them questions to help them in their reading.
  • Establish explicitly the parameters of successful answers to the assignments.
  • Avoid giving questions or instructions that are grammatically or syntactically complicated as they only serve to bewilder the student without testing actual information important to the class.
  • Help the student by targeting the student's area of difficulty and suggesting a strategy to compensate.