Professional Development 1 Credit: Understanding Special Learning Populations

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“Today the chances are good that you know someone with autism or autism – like characteristics.”

“Have you ever come across a child who’s always on the move? They might have ADHD.”

“Gifted learners have competencies and abilities that go two or more years beyond their grade and/or age level.”

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EDUC 600
1 Semester Credit

  • Grading: A-F
  • Materials: Included in the course fee
  • Professional Development Credit: 1 semester credit issued through the regionally accredited
  • Instruction Mode: Self-paced, Asynchronous (Online Class), with instructor interaction
  • Semesters: Spring, Summer & Fall
    (enroll any time)
  • Enrollment: Start any time
See inside this course…

Course Description:

Self-paced Professional Development Credit classes incorporate online content, quizzes, interactivities and a Course Action Plan you can put to use in your work environment. Learning takes place asynchronously, at your convenience, and may be completed over a period of 4 weeks. Note, teachers looking for graduate credits, please check with your issuing authority about whether it will accept these online teacher courses for graduate credit.

As educators, we all face situations where we accommodate students with special needs in our classrooms. In such situations, how can we modulate our teaching to ensure that we reach each and every child? This integrated course, Understanding Special Learning Populations is designed to help educators encourage and maximize each child’s potential.

Terms like Autism, ADHD, learning disability and gifted learners are being constantly used. What do they mean? What makes these children unique? And most importantly, how as an educator can you enhance these students’ learning ability? These are questions that are answered in this course.

The integrated course has three sections, each one dedicated to a particular special population: SECTION A, Introduction to Autism, SECTION B,  Differentiation for Gifted Learners in the Classroom and SECTION C, Understanding ADHD. The course presents various strategies, adaptations and modifications to the environment and the mode of instruction that help educators accommodate and teach students with these conditions. Along with enhancing an educator’s skills, the course is rich and filled with ideas and suggestions that promote confidence in handling children of differing abilities.

Objectives & Outcomes:

As a result of successful participation in SECTION A, Introduction to Autism, students should be able to:

  • Recognize the symptoms of autism.
  • Understand the range of conditions similar to autism.
  • Correlate the deficits in autism with the characteristics of the brain in autism.
  • Gain knowledge about the management of autism.
  • Understand the Theory of Mind and its relation to development of thinking in autism.
  • Identify the stage of thinking a student with autism is in, and communicate with them accordingly.
  • Understand characteristics of language and communication in autism.
  • Communicate effectively with, and teach a student with autism.
  • Facilitate social interaction in the classroom, for a student with autism.
  • Understand the symptoms of autism, and strategies to accommodate students having the various symptoms.
  • Create an autism-friendly physical environment in the classroom.
  • Plan classroom schedules for a class which has a student with autism.
  • Manage behavior issues regarding a student with autism who may present in the classroom.
  • Modify teaching materials and strategies to better reach a student with autism.
  • Work together with parents and the larger team in accommodating a student with autism.

As a result of successful participation in SECTION B, Differentiation for Gifted Learners in the Classroom, students should be able to:

  • Understand characteristics of gifted learners.
  • Identify gifted learners in the classroom.
  • Recognize needs of gifted learners.
  • Support gifted learners to help them achieve overall development.
  • Differentiate curriculum to suit the needs of gifted learners.
  • Compact curriculum for gifted learners.
  • Understand and identify twice-exceptional students.
  • Support twice-exceptional students.
  • Assess mastery of content.
  • Understand and implement tiered instruction.

As a result of successful participation in SECTION C, Understanding ADHD, students should be able to:

  • Understand and identify symptoms of ADHD.
  • Understand prognosis, treatment and causes of ADHD.
  • Facilitate concentration and focus while teaching students with ADHD.
  • Prevent hyperactivity and impulsivity related issues in the classroom through organization and scheduling.
  • Enable students with ADHD to learn effectively by teaching them organizational strategies.
  • Motivate students with ADHD.
  • Facilitate social interaction in students with ADHD.
  • Create a classroom physical environment that facilitates focus in students with ADHD.
  • Create a classroom schedule for students with ADHD.
  • Modify assessment to accommodate a student with ADHD.

Special Instructions:

After registering for this course at Professional Learning Board, you’ll be directed to the University website to complete your registration and payment.


48 Reviews of “Professional Development 1 Credit: Understanding Special Learning Populations”:
  1. Melanie S says:
    Five Stars

    I've really enjoyed taking these courses! They are overall interesting and educational! Thank you!

  2. Patricia W says:
    Five Stars

    Thanks for the great experience. Enjoyed immensely and learned so o o o oo much.

  3. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    Very informative course.

  4. Jennifer J. says:
    Five Stars

    This was a great course-not too wordy and full of great content!

  5. Tammy N. says:
    Five Stars

    Great course a lot of helpful information.

  6. Mark F. says:
    Five Stars

    Good content .

  7. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    I found the course to be interesting. I feel the knowledge that I have gained will enhance and supplement my work with special populations. thank you!!

  8. Richard H. says:
    Five Stars

    An excellent and comprehensive course on autism.

  9. Laurie K. says:
    Five Stars

    Yet another excellent course!! Thank you!

  10. Mike P. says:
    Five Stars

    Another excellent course. This one really helps me better understand some behaviors of students who are having difficulties both in focusing upon their work and with classmate interactions.

  11. Mike J. says:
    Five Stars

    Wow! By far this was the most informative and beneficial course I've taken. Regardless of which students I may be working, this helps me to have a better understanding of why a student may be doing something or other, and gives me pause to be a bit more aware of particular needs (which is asking for a bit more understanding and a lot more patience on my part.) Mike J.

  12. Ryan W. says:
    Five Stars

    Thank you for your wonderful customer service support. I was very impressed when I called in for assistance.

  13. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    "I really LOVED all the examples and websites that it offered for me to use later."

  14. Megan S. says:
    Five Stars

    "Being a substitute teacher, I have had some opportunities to work with children with Autism. This site helped me find some new ideas and strategies to use the next time I am subbing."

  15. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    Love the courses and they met my needs!

  16. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    I think that the assessment portions sometimes try too hard to be ""Fun"" which is great in theory, but it takes a lot of time to fill out crosswords or do mazes, when I can simply answer the question and move on. I prefer straightforward quizzes, rather than puzzles etc.

  17. Kathleen R. says:
    Five Stars

    WOW is all I can was an accident that I found your site and what you had to offer. So far EVERYTHING with PLB has been top notch! I learned something, the experience has been exceptional, and now the paperwork to get the transcript from the university for my re-licensee and lane change seems to easy...I'm starting my next class today. I plan on letting my colleagues all know about you for their future classes. Thanks again for being there! Kathleen R PS Finding you was the nicest accident I have had in a long

  18. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    Great information.

  19. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    I enjoyed the course. Thank you for the topics you have and the ease it is to take the courses.

  20. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    Thank You!!

  21. Anonymous says:
    Five Stars

    I've enjoyed using Professional Learning Board to renew my license for the second time!

  22. Emily D. says:
    Five Stars

    This platform was so convenient and provided great new knowledge! As a stay at home mom who is seeking to keep my license current, the ease of use was invaluable. Thank you.

  23. Nichole W. says:
    Five Stars

    The course was easy to navigate and very informative.

  24. Carrie P. says:
    Five Stars

    I feel like it would be beneficial for every teacher to have more training in identifying these special populations and in addressing their special needs. I now feel that by taking courses like this one, we as educators could be more effective in meeting the needs of special populations.

  25. Dan F. says:
    Five Stars

    This course changed my understanding of autism dramatically and made me aware of the epidemic proportions of autism in the school population.

  26. Kathleen M. says:
    Five Stars

    I enjoyed these discussions and found the accompanying text to be very helpful.

  27. Jaclyn R. says:
    Five Stars

    I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot!

  28. Lisa R. says:
    Five Stars

    I enjoyed this course and learned many new and practical strategies to bring into my classroom for September. The pocket guide is especially useful and practical! Thanks for all the information and the positive feedback. This is a great way to learn!

  29. Richard Z. says:
    Five Stars

    This course was a great resource for me. I would like to develop an Enrichment Extra Help for my Gifted students. This course gave me insight in how I should design this service. Thank you for a very useful course!

  30. Lori P. says:
    Five Stars

    We certainly received a wealth of information. Thanks!

  31. Beth H. says:
    Five Stars

    The "unlimited retake" arrangement enables the evaluation process to become an extension of the learning process. I had to take the quiz a couple times in order to score 100%. However, I was more willing to take the quiz and risk incorrect answers knowing I could review & revisit my selections. I think this was a great format and I'll use it with my students as well. The advantage of using online score keeping is that the students can keep track of their progress and submit their achieved 100% scores. How liberating for both students and teachers alike! Time spent on grading tests can be devoted to curriculum differentiation development! Thanks for a great course - I really appreciate all of the resources and knowledge I can use right away preparing for my new students this fall!

  32. James F. says:
    Five Stars

    This course has helped me to realize that differentiated instruction is a must in my classroom.

  33. Regina S. says:
    Five Stars

    This course has awakened me to the difference between a gifted learner and a high achieving student. My insight to the gifted student has been enhanced with the help of this course. I hope to bring my new-found knowledge to the classroom.

  34. Christine W. says:
    Five Stars

    This course has strengthened the belief that gifted learners do need a different type of instruction than regular students and special ed students.

  35. Kathleen M. says:
    Five Stars

    The course strengthened by belief in the fact that teachers must pay more attention to gifted learners.

  36. Neeru P. says:
    Five Stars

    This course has really helped me identify the difference between a gifted learner and a high achiever. I previously thought they were the same but I realize now there is a difference between them.

  37. Richard Z. says:
    Five Stars

    This course was a great resource for me. Thank you for a very useful course!

  38. Katie S. says:
    Five Stars

    I learned a great deal from this course. Thank you!

  39. Barbara H. says:
    Five Stars

    Thanks for an informative class. I'm sure I will use the information in the next and coming school year.

  40. Cynthia C. says:
    Five Stars

    I have learned so much about autism and how to work with students on the specturm that I had never known before. Although I have not had the experience of working with an autistic child (yet) I feel that I now have the confidence and mind set if the opportunity arose. From what I have read, working with autistic children can be extremely challenging, yet, rewarding as well. This course has given me concrete ideas and techniques to use while working with autistic students. This course has been insightful and taught me so much more than I had already know about autism and how to deal with autistic children.

  41. Kerry D. says:
    Five Stars

    I found that this course was extremely beneficial in providing important information about Autism. Nowadays it is much more common to find students on the spectrum in our schools. It is important for us as educators to be aware of how Autism may impact these individuals. The tools provided in this course will help us as educators improve the education that students with Autism receive. I think a course like this is important for all teachers not only if we have students with Autism but for students with other learning disabilities or struggles. This course provided detailed information about Autism that helped me to better understand how Autism impacts those on the spectrum.

  42. Becky M. says:
    Five Stars

    I enjoyed reading and learning more about Autism and plan to add some of the strategies taught in my "toolbox" of strategies. This course gave specific information that helped me learn more about Autism. I am a teacher who has a lot of patience and nothing frustrates or irritates me more than teachers who do not have UNDERSTANDING about specific disabilities. I cannot stand to listen to the complaints as to "Why can't Jonny just sit in his seat? Why can't Alice get unpacked in the morning?" Well, sometimes they JUST CAN'T and they need a strategy or some help. I appreciate the information you shared in this course to help ME better understand Autism and ways that I can help students in my classroom.

  43. Melissa W. says:
    Five Stars

    I was successful because of all the information I learned in this course regarding children with autism.

  44. Malka I. says:
    Five Stars

    The class did an excellent job teaching what it was meant to. Thanks for an enriching online course which taught me a lot of information that I look forward to using when I go back to work!

  45. Carissa R. says:
    Five Stars

    I definitely learned more about how to better understand, educate, and relate to people living with autism.

  46. Victoria C. says:
    Five Stars

    I really learned a lot from this course!

  47. Kathleen M. says:
    Five Stars

    I appreciated learning ways to calm these children down--words to say to them, warnings, etc. to lessen their anxiety.

  48. Denis L. says:
    Five Stars

    This course has helped me have a better understanding of what a typical autistic child goes through a school day. Glad I took the class thank you.

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