Form 3: General Learning Media Checklist (Appendix G)
This form looks at both learning materials and methods used for near and distance tasks within the student's learning environment and how to accommodate for those media given the student's efficiency in using sensory information (Koenig, Holbrook, 6).
The first section is about distance. It evaluates the classroom as a distance task that requires vision to access information. Regular education classrooms usually have posters on the wall to draw a student's visual attention. If a student is not visually-oriented and is instead primarily auditory, the TVI has to figure out ways to adapt that classroom to enable appropriate learning.
Part 2 of the first section addresses teaching methods. Think about how a teacher in a classroom operates. At the very low-tech level, the teacher says: "If you look up here", and then points to something. Pointing is a visual task, as are gestures and facial expressions. The impact of decreased visual abilities is tremendous if you don't have the ability to judge the facial expression of your teacher and peers. We oftentimes use facial expressions (as well as other behaviors that are visual) to respond to our environment. This has a large impact on how we learn about other people's opinions and reactions.
The second section of this form is General Learning Media. It considers a variety of things that are used in the classroom, that are categorized as vision, touch, and/or hearing. This is a tool (once you've understood the child's sensory channels of learning) that gives you a better understanding of how you might modify the environment and make accommodations to help a student achieve a meaningful learning experience.
Students with visual impairments are challenged when attending schools where teachers increasingly use PowerPoint presentations or CD ROM technology. An example would be the use of this technology to replace exercises such as frog dissection. It saves a lot of frogs in the world, but think about the child who is blind or visually impaired in that classroom; the loss of the experiential learning has a tremendous negative impact on him/her.
When we think about the quality of education, we have to remember that if students with visual impairments are really going to learn the same ways as their peers (or absorb the same information), TVI's have to modify or figure out other ways for them to access that information.
*Scaled-down sample versions of Appendix G (Blank Assessment Forms) can be viewed in this education module. To use these forms, please acquire by purchasing Learning Media Assessment: A Resource Guide for Teachers.