There is a need for differenciated learning materials that support both individual adaptation and inclusion. In Norway, the development of multifunctional learning materials is an attempt to solve this challenge. Multifunctional learning materials are universal and formed in a way so they take care of the need for adaptation for different groups, for adapted education and inclusion.
In Norway, the Knowledge Promotion is the latest educational reform. It introduces changes in substance, structure and organization. The reform took effect autumn 2006. Under the Knowledge Promotion, schools are to prioritize the cultivation of basic skills in all subjects. This is an important foundation for all other learning. These basic skills are as follows: the ability to read, to do arithmetic, to express oneself orally, to express oneself in writing, to use information and communication technology. Adapted education for all students is a general principle for primary and secondary education. This also affects the learning materials (including digital educational media). As many pupils as possible should be able to use them.
The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training has the responsibility to contribute to the development of multifunctional learning materials to children, young and adults with special needs in primary and secondary education. The Directorate allocates about 10 MNOK subventions every year to publishing houses and other developers of learning materials. The Direcorate also cooperates with a number of units in the governmental support system for special education, with schools, user organisations, and others to guarantee the quality of these learning materials.
Description of the way to implement the initiative
The content is arranged through different levels of function, and in form trough different formats (printed and digital) to increase accessibility. The digital learning materials contain level based texts and tasks, text versions, sound support and control panel. The printed learning materials have differenciated texts and more illustrations.Teacher guidance/methodical guidance is a part of the concept. The learning materials must be curriculum based. The purpose is that the learning materials shall contribute to adapted education for each pupil at the same time as they attend to the community of the class. The target group is pupils with need for adapted learning materials that in addition to or instead of ordinary learning materials. The focus is towards each pupil's need for adaptation and not his/her diagnosis.
A model for the multifunctional learning materials is based on tree different levels of functions. The functional levels for adaptation:
- Pupils with the need for simple adaptation
- Pupils with the need for more extensive adaptation
- Pupils with the need for much individual adaptation
Main results, benefits and impacts
In 2003 RambÃ¸ll Management evaluated the first generation of multifunctional learning materials. They concluded amongst others that the use of multifunctional learning materials alone is not enough to achieve an including and adapted education. It also depends on a continuous improvement of the quality of the training and the teachers abilities to change their practice. But the learning materials can support new ways of adaptation and carry out learning activities in the classroom. The evaluation concludes that digital learning materials have a great potential for adjusted training and inclusion. This is valid for both pupils with and without special needs. The possibilities for differenciation much better with the use of digital learning materials than f.ex. a book. The digital learning materials make it possible to:
- To differentiate
- To appeal to/Activate different senses with sound, pictures, text, animation and so on
- To support pupils with writing difficulties
- To give immediately constructive and positive response to the pupils work
- To activate the pupils
- To stimulate the language-development
- To stimulate
- To motivate the pupils
- To vary the training
- To give the pupils a common ground to the content as a starting point for cooperation
- For the pupils with special needs to work with the textbooks and teaching aids in the class, but in different levels
- For all pupils to cooperate
Return on investment
Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available
Lesson 1- RambÃ¸ll conludes that with the help of the state subventions, the publishing houses and other developers are given a general competence in developing digital learning materials.