An individual learning plan is aimed at identifying the current needs of dyslexic learners and defining the goals of the learning process. Initially, it is necessary to perform a learning needs analysis, which helps in describing the learners’ possible needs. The individual learning plan also needs to be consistent with Bloom’s Taxonomy and needs to describe the feedback patterns to be effective. Additionally, the individual learning plan offers a number of recommendations for integrating an inclusive learning environment, a flipped-classroom approach as well a training cycle. Based on the proposed aspects, effective learning can be produced for learners with dyslexia based on their current abilities and learning needs.
Individual Learning Plan
To determine the student’s current abilities and draw up an individual learning plan, it is necessary to perform a learning needs analysis. Learners with dyslexia primarily need an assessment of their reading and writing abilities (Lemperou et al., 2011; Hannell, 2016; Hargreaves and Crabb, 2016; Townend and Turner, 2000). Additionally, it is important to assess various contextual factors, including visual, hearing, motor, emotional, cultural, environmental aspects, economic disadvantages, limited English proficiency (Ward and Bush, 2019; The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009; The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). It is also important for the assessment to consider the cognitive aspects that may affect speech and writing (Ward et al., 2019; The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009; The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). Based on these assessments, an individual learning plan can be drawn up, which will become the basis for learning for learners with dyslexia.
An individual learning plan is a description of the learner’s true ability as well as setting goals for learning. Learners with dyslexia have the following characteristics to consider when designing an individual learning plan: sensory impairment, intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, cultural factors, limited English proficiency, neurological or genetic disorders (Taylor et al., 2009; Ivicevic et al., 2021; Laslettová, 2016). Based on the identified existing abilities, learning goals can be set, which will form the basis for the learning plan.
The main goals for future adjustments within the learning process should be consistent with the identified current abilities. The first aspect is to give learners more time to complete buildings during the lesson tests, if possible. Ensure the availability of special equipment and medicines for learners’ specific disorders (hearing aids, glasses, etc.) Additionally, it is important to target learning disabilities before they cause emotional disturbance to the learner. Ensure student involvement in the learning process, taking into account cultural differences. It is also necessary to involve a variety of specialists and professionals when working with dyslexic learners in order to trigger the characteristics of the students most effectively. Moreover, it is important to involve the Learning Support Assistant (LSA) to ensure that the learner with dyslexia interacts with other students. Finally, it is crucial to have a clear diagnosis of the disorder and all associated conditions in order to maintain the most effective treatment and learning plan.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is an essential tool for developing and evaluating learning plans. Armstrong (n.d.) explains that a given framework is needed to assess the objectives of the learning process and design appropriate teaching strategies. This taxonomy consists of six categories, including remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating (Armstrong, n.d.; Forehand, 2005; Krathwohl, 2002). Additionally, these skills are distributed according to the dimensions of factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive knowledge (Forehand, 2005; Krathwohl, 2002). Taxonomy offers teachers the ability to categorise and structure activities to target specific areas of expertise to the learner and to focus on specific exercises based on student needs. Within the described individual learning plan, it is necessary to pay special attention to conceptual and procedural knowledge with a focus on understanding, application, and analysis.
As part of learning for learners with dyslexia, it is important to focus on the individual aspects of the learning process. Getting feedback is necessary to complete a formative assessment of the individual learning plan (Supporting learners, n.d; British Dyslexia Association, 2001). It is important for the teacher to point out those mistakes and draw parallels with those concepts that are important to the student. In particular, one should not point out every grammatical and or phonetic mistake in order to avoid emotional disturbance. Instead, the teacher should give feedback that targets the most important aspects of the student’s needs. The assessment should be done after the end of the lesson, and it is also important to check the correctness of the erroneous tasks next time. It is important for learners with dyslexia to incorporate positive aspects into feedback in order to maintain a level of confidence, which is often a problem for students with the disorder.
As part of the development of an individualised learning plan, the key current abilities of students with dyslexia were identified. Additionally, learning goals have been set that focus on targeting existing disorders and related conditions. In particular, it is imperative for learners with dyslexia to consider existing impairments and disabilities, including reading and writing, and to avoid emotional disturbance. One of the critical goals of an individual learning plan is to collaborate with specialists to deal with cognitive disorders and develop interactions between students properly.
With regard to the learning environment, there are characteristics that are necessary to comply with when working with learners with dyslexia. First of all, it is necessary to create an inclusive learning environment within which communication between students and taking into account cultural differences is extremely important (Reid, 2019; Daloiso, 2017). Flipped classroom approach is currently a promising learning methodology, within which “students treat video lectures and practise questions as pre-class assignments and conduct student-centred activities in the classroom” (Chen, 2021, p. 341). This approach positively promotes understanding, applying, and analysing domains, which are important when working with learners with dyslexia (Al-Shabibi and Al-Ayasra, 2019). It is also important that the combination of a flipped-classroom approach with an inclusive environment can have a positive effect on communication and maintaining student confidence (Reyna et al., 2016). The training cycle should build on Bloom’s Taxonomy, building the learning process around core domains and dimensions.
Postgraduate research has become an important part of my current activity and allows me to develop as a professional. In this regard, it is important to note that I especially value the knowledge gained in assessing learners’ individual needs and planning their learning process. In this situation, I acquired strong theoretical knowledge, which I am already applying in practice. Moreover, as a nurse in an elderly setting, I can improve my communication with patients and provide them with more comprehensive support while also working to maintain and develop their cognitive abilities. It is also important for me that independent research with the support of teachers and other students allowed me to develop my skills in information seeking and critical thinking. Additionally, I formed a clearer understanding of the conceptual foundations of my practice and also learned to assess my needs and plan my future development.
In my teaching activities, I appreciate a student-centred approach where the needs and wants of the student are paramount. As Kelly (2016, p. 3) notes “learning takes place when students create their own meaning.” However, the teacher has an important role to play in promoting learning activities and guiding the learning process. Within this paradigm, the teacher must analyse the needs and current abilities of the learner and propose the most effective strategy based on the characteristics of the student. Kelly (2016) also notes that the teacher acts as a motivator for learning. I do not fully support this approach since I believe that the teacher should build his relationship with the student based on his expertise and extensive knowledge in the field of designing an effective learning process (Singh, n.d). This view, in my opinion, allows the teacher to build a professional relationship that can provide the most effective result.
In the learning environment, the teacher performs many different functions as a facilitator of the learning process. In particular, the teacher acts as a guide, counsellor, and information provider (Jagtap, 2015). In this case, the teacher must have strong skills in analysis and strategy development, as well as extensive knowledge of learning methods and approaches, in order to select the most effective approach. Purnama (2018, p. 365) states that the teacher’s role consists of “encouraging and facilitating the students with the necessary tools and supports in order to be more autonomous, and focused on the difficulties.” I think this assumption is extremely true, as it emphasises the multi-dimensional nature of learning activities. Teachers need to shift focus from direct to indirect teaching (Goodyear and Dudley, 2015; Foss, 2013). This means that the facilitator should pay attention to empowering students to learn rather than rigorously present information.
Thus, the role of the teacher in the modern world is to develop various skills among learners, including critical thinking and curiosity. In student-centred learning, which is especially necessary for learners with dyslexia, the instructor must bring students to the fore. In particular, you must participate in “creating opportunities for participants to explore, to lead, to personalise their work” (Blum-Smith et al., 2021, p. 10). However, when working with students with special needs, the teacher must constantly monitor the progress of learning and adjust the strategy to achieve the best result. It is important for the teacher to articulate existing difficulties for the learner and provide the tools to overcome them (Goh, 2014). It is especially important to make the aspects of their disorder understandable to learners with dyslexia in order to maintain their self-confidence and motivate them to work.
I am currently working as a nurse in the elderly setting. This position allows me to interact with patients on a daily basis and analyse their needs. In connection with teaching activities, I make an effort to support their cognitive development, taking into account their emotional state. For elderly people who often suffer from various cognitive disorders, it is extremely important to maintain the ability to communicate and learn. I believe that in this setting, collaboration and the student-centred approach are paramount and most effective. Although I am not directly involved in the development of individual plans at the present time and do not formulate learning strategies, in the future, I hope to engage in this activity.
When working with learners who have specific learning needs, I especially focus on the feedback I get from the interaction. It seems to me that it is most important to adjust the program in accordance with the expectations and aspirations of the student. This is especially important when working with learners with cognitive disabilities since they cannot always independently analyse their needs and articulate goals. In this case, I am acting as a direct guide that helps in assessing the strategy and its formation. I try to develop in this direction actively and have plans to expand my knowledge in the future.
In particular, I would like to focus on approaches for creating an inclusive learning environment. In modern society, in my opinion, the integration of learners with various characteristics, both cultural and cognitive, is the basis. Additionally, through collaborative learning, learners can feel more confident and have better learning outcomes. This aspect also touches upon the need to develop effective communication skills among students so that they can actively participate in the learning process. Student-centred approaches are equally important in this regard because they help articulate the importance of learning for students and maintain their personal values. I think, combined with an effective approach to teaching strategy, this aspect will help in the development of students.
Another important area of my future professional development, I see collaboration with other specialists, such as cognitive specialists. Perhaps I would also like to directly expand my knowledge of the cognitive features of learners with dyslexia and other disorders. I believe that although this direction will not allow me to provide exclusive support in the framework of the learning process, it will nevertheless help me to better understand how to build learning plans. Moreover, my advanced knowledge of cognitive science can help me better handle feedback and tailor the strategy to the specific needs of students.
Postgraduate research became an impulse for me, which allowed me to start active development in this field. In particular, I became well aware of the direction of teaching activities that would be interesting to me. In particular, it was important for me to learn to view different models and theories of learning from different perspectives (McCallin and Nayar, 2012). I think that only independent research has allowed me to develop sufficient competence to develop my own development path. In this regard, the ability to communicate with other students and teachers was also a critical point for me. This model is in many ways similar to what I consider as the most effective learning model, when, as part of the learning process, students acquire tools for independent growth.
At the same time, support and information provision from teachers and guidance gives confidence that I am developing my learning activities correctly. In my opinion, this is also important because it allows one not to lose motivation in the educational process. Participation in postgraduate research helped me to understand the goals of learning and the importance of maintaining individual values (Wright, 2003). I learned to analyse my needs and adjust my curriculum in many ways, although not without the help of teachers. In addition to acquiring theoretical and practical knowledge, I have developed a stronger conceptual framework for my activities.
It is also important that I can apply the knowledge gained in the course of research in my current professional practice. Developing learning plans based on an assessment of the individual needs of students allows me to understand the needs of patients better. Additionally, I approach their analysis in more detail and methodologically sound, which makes such a consideration more accurate and valuable. All this constitutes my present and future practice and will become the basis for my development as a professional.
Postgraduate research for me has become the basis for a full awareness of the importance and specifics of my work. I would like to acquire more in-depth knowledge in the future, as well as participate in the development of the methodological foundations of the activity. I am particularly interested in integrating an inclusive environment and flipped classroom learning as a foundation for more effective learning for learners with cognitive disabilities. In my opinion, this area is currently underdeveloped and is just beginning to become the norm in the educational setting. Combined with my commitment to development in cognitive science, I can look forward to continued research activity in this area and the creation of promising new learning models for learners with special needs. I hope that I can effectively integrate all the skills and knowledge I have acquired in future practice and research.
Al-Shabibi, T. S. and Al-Ayasra, M. (2019) ‘Effectiveness of the flipped classroom strategy in learning outcomes (bibliometric study)’, International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 18(3), pp. 96-127.
Armstrong, P. (n.d) Bloom’s Taxonomy. Web.
Blum-Smith, S., Yurkofsky, M. M. and Brennan, K. (2021) ‘Stepping back and stepping in: facilitating learner-centered experiences in MOOCs’, Computers & Education, 160, pp. 1-13.
British Dyslexia Association. (2001) Dyslexia successful inclusion in the secondary school. D. Fulton Publishers.
Chen, Y. (2021) ‘The influence of the traditional teaching approach transfer to flipped classroom approach on dyslexia’, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 65, pp. 340-346.
Daloiso, M. (2017) Supporting learners with dyslexia in the ELT classroom. Oxford University Press.
Forehand, M. (2005) Bloom’s TaxonomyL original and review. In Orey M. (ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. The Global Text Project.
Foss, B. (2013) The dyslexia empowerment plan: a blueprint for renewing your child’s confidence and love of learning. Random House Publishing Group.
Goodyear, V. and Dudley, D. (2015) ‘I’m a facilitator of learning!” Understanding what teachers and students do within student-centered physical education models’, Quest, 67, pp. 274-289.
Goh, K. (2014) ‘What good teachers do to promote effective student learning in a problem-based learning environment’, Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology, 14, pp. 159-166.
Hannell, G. (2016) Dyslexia: action plans for successful learning. Taylor & Francis.
Hargreaves, S. and Crabb, J. (eds.) (2016) Study skills for students with dyslexia support for specific learning differences (SpLDs). SAGE Publications.
Ivicevic, L., Davies, M. and Nayton, M. (2021) Classroom adjustments: specific learning needs (Dyslexia). Web.
Jagtap, P. (2015) ‘Teachers role as facilitator in learning,’ Scholarly Research Journal for Humanity Science & English Language, 3(17), pp. 3903-3905.
Kelly, C. (2016) ‘Teacher as facilitator of learning, in Mårtensson P. and Bild, M. (eds.), Teaching and learning at business schools: transforming business education (pp. 3-14). CRC Press.
Krathwohl, D. R. (2002) ‘A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: an overview’, Theory into Practice, 41(4), pp. 212-264.
Laslettová, A. (2016) Individual learning plan for teaching English to learners with dyslexia. Web.
Lemperou, L., Chostelidou, D. and Griva, E. (2011) ‘Identifying the training needs of EFL teachers in teaching children with dyslexia’, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, pp. 410-416.
McCallin, A. and Nayar, S. (2012) ‘Postgraduate research supervision: a critical review of current practice’, Teaching in Higher Education, 17(1), pp. 63-74.
Purnama, N. D. (2018) ‘An investigation of teachers’s role as facilitators in teaching writing in the classroom’, ELT Perspective, 3(2), pp. 361-370.
Reid, G. (2019) Dyslexia and inclusion: classroom approaches for assessment, teaching and learning. Routledge.
Reyna, J., Davila, Y. C. and Meier, P. (2016) ‘Enhancing the flipped classroom experience with the aid of inclusive design’, Proceedings of EdMedia 2016–World Conference on Educational Media and Technology, pp. 1795-1807.
Singh, S. (n.d) Teaching & research: role of teacher as facilitator in classroom. Web.
Supporting learners with dyslexia: a guide for teachers. (n.d). Web.
Taylor, M. J., Duffy, S., and England, D. (2009) ‘Teaching students with dyslexia in higher education, Education+Training, 51(2), pp. 139-149.
The American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009) ‘Joint technical report—learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision’, Pediatrics, 127(3), pp. 818-856.
The American Academy of Pediatrics. (2011) ‘Joint statement—learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision’, Pediatrics, 124(2), pp. 837-844.
Townend, J. and Turner, M. (eds.) (2000) Dyslexia in practice: a guide for teachers. Springer US.
Ward, A., Bush, H. and Braaten, E. B. (2019) ‘Reading disorders/dyslexia’, in Wilson H. K. and Braaten, E. B. (eds.), The Massachusetts General Hospital Guide to learning disabilities. Current Clinical Psychiatry, pp. 21-37.
Wright, T. (2003) ‘Postgraduate research students: people in context?’ British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 31(2), pp. 209-227.