What is learning Support?Learning Support is provided for all students registered with the Disability Service. Your first meeting with your Learning Support Officer will include your registration with the Disability Service through a detailed Needs Assessment which will include your Reasonable Accommodations.
This meeting should take place September each year.
There are currently four Learning Support Officers at Dublin Institute of Technology and they provide learning support on all campuses.
Learning Support provides both individual and group support in academic skills such as:
- Organisation and time management skills
- Note-taking skills
- Effective Reading Strategies
- Writing skills for third level
- Exam Strategies and revision skills
- Specialist tuition in Reading, Spelling and Grammar
After your Needs Assessment, you will be required to attend a follow up meeting with your Learning Support Officer during the First Term.
The main aim of Learning Support sessions is to facilitate students with the appropriate academic skills for success at third level education. Learning Support is provided through both individual and group sessions. Students can avail of up to six Learning Support Sessions and are actively encouraged by the Disability Service to avail of regular Learning Support Sessions.
What is a Needs Assessment?A needs assessment is the first initial contact with a Learning Support Officer in which the individual educational needs of the student will be assessed through consultation with the student’s documentation (consultant’s letter or educational psychologist report).
The Needs Assessment will incorporate any recommendations of the Consultant or Educational Psychologist. It will incorporate an assessment of the students needs in third level education and also recommend Reasonable Accommodations for the student.
It is important to note that reasonable accommodations will follow the guidelines set out by the Disability Advisors Working Network (DAWN) and (RACE) Reasonable Accommodations for Certificate Examinations. Students who have sat their Leaving certificate will be asked to provide a copy of their Reasonable Accommodations as granted by the State Examinations Commission.
In the Needs Assessment the student and the Learning Support Officer will discuss what supports the student wishes to avail of during regular Learning Support Sessions. A discussion will follow in which the Learning Support Officer will explain what academic support is available to assist the student to achieve their potential in third level study. The Needs Assessment will also take note of the particular demands of each course of study.
The needs assessment will also involve recommendations for Assistive Technology by the Assistive Technology Officer, who consults with the Learning Support Officer and refers to relevant medical or educational psychologist documentation.
After the needs assessment a funding application for the student will be sent to the National Disability Authority who will decide if funding will be granted to the student.
Learning Support Officers
Every student registered with the Disability Service will be allocated a Learning Support Officer. Your learning support officer will provide training in independent research skills, time management and study skills. Many of the following will be covered either individually or in a group setting.
- Organisational Skills
- Reading and Note Taking
- Motivational Skills
- Planning an Essay
- Conquering Writer’s Block
- Time Management
- Analysing Questions
- Study Routine
- Preparing for exam essays
- Setting Priorities
- Choosing structure
- Reading Techniques
- Paragraph Structure
- Exam Preparation
- Coping with Stress
- Copy Editing
- Mind Mapping
- Research Skills
- Spelling and decoding
In so far as is possible, Learning Support Officers collaborate with Academic staff to ensure that the curriculum is delivered in a way that is accessible to all students, which might entail adapting teaching strategies and programme delivery to suit students with disabilities.
Learning Support Officers will frequently meet up with students who are considering taking a course in DIT, prior to commencement, and will give students the information they require on the facilities available.
Learning Support Officers also work on an on-going basis developing training modules for staff of DIT on disability awareness and inclusive teaching and learning strategies.
Where applicable, your Learning Support Officer will arrange suitable accommodations for you in terms of examinations and the completion of assignments.
It is important to note that in order to avail of any of these services, it is vital that you provide specialist documentation, giving details of your disability. Without this, it is not possible to provide the necessary support for you.
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