Research

Postsecondary Documentation Guidelines

Article: "Applying LD Documentation Guidelines at the Postsecondary Level: Decision Making With Sparse or Missing Data"

Authors: Manju Banerjee, Ph.D. (Vice President and Director of LCIRT, pictured); Joseph W. Madaus, Ph.D. (University of Connecticut); Nicholas Gelbar, Ph.D. (University of Connecticut)

Journal: Learning Disability Quarterly, 5 Feb. 2014, DOI: 10.1177/0731948713518335

Abstract

A key issue in fostering transition to postsecondary education for students with disabilities is documentation verifying the nature of the disability and supporting the need for services and reasonable accommodations. Documentation guidelines assist postsecondary disability service providers in making decisions about eligibility and reasonable accommodations.

However, documentation is often varied in scope, comprehensiveness, and quality, requiring a great deal of professional judgment during the review process. This study examined service provider decision-making when presented with documentation of learning disability with varying levels of information. Results indicated service providers’ value comprehensive Objective Evidence, but importance of the data used in decision-making varied by demographic variables, such as years of experience and type of training in reviewing disability documentation. Implications for practice are addressed.

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ADHD and Support Services

A collaborative team of researchers from the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT) and Dr. George Dupaul’s research team at Lehigh University is examining several years of archival data from Landmark College’s databases as part of a study on the effectiveness of support services for students with ADHD. The team has been working on the data since 2012 and has completed the task of extracting and coding the data in preparation for Hierarchical Linear Modeling analysis.

A preliminary visual analysis of the data shows differences in the effectiveness of various support services for this student population with some indication that long-term coaching support can lead to significant improvements in student performance. The long-term goal of this project is to provide data that can be used to better customize both the timing and nature of student supports based on individual student profiles.

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Mobile Devices and Apps Use

In just one short decade, mobile technology has evolved and revolutionized the way students engage, interact, and learn. What has made this revolution both exciting is the exponential proliferation of apps. For students with learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), apps provide a unique opportunity to eliminate access barriers, because they are ubiquitous and prolific. Apps can be installed in seconds, be accessed any place and anytime, and offer immediate solutions for academic learning and coursework.

E-learning initiatives and app technologies are an important part of postsecondary education. Unfortunately, limited research is available on the effectiveness of apps for students with disabilities, due to the fact that they are still a new and emerging technology. Landmark College has been on the leading edge of technology research and innovation in the field of learning disabilities. Researchers from LCIRT, in particular, have been pioneering important research efforts to enhance educators’ understanding of new app technologies and to gauge students’ usage of academic apps at Landmark College.

At the 2013 International Dyslexia Association conference, Dr. Manju Banerjee and Dr. Sapna Prasad of LCIRT presented an app evaluation tool informed by the principles of Universal Design for Instruction. Dr. Banerjee and Dr. Prasad are now expanding their research to better understand which apps and mobile devices students with LD, ADHD, and ASD use for their coursework and academic learning, and the process by which students choose apps. They have created an Apps and Mobile Devices Survey and are collecting feedback from students at Landmark College who have firsthand experience using apps for their coursework.

This survey will help researchers identify the most user-friendly and effective features of apps designed for note-taking, reading and organization; and increase the understanding of the broader impacts that app technology can have on the academic progress of students with LD, ADHD, and ASD. Another opportune outcome of this research is an assessment of Landmark College students’ technology preferences as the College continues to march forward and explore the world of eLearning for those who learn differently. 

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Digital Note-Taking

Article: “Digital Note-Taking: Helping You Get It and Keep It Together”

Authors: Linda Hecker, M.Ed. (LCIRT Lead Education Specialist); Anne M. Fein, M.A. (Associate Professor in First Year Studies Department, Landmark College) (both pictured at right).

Publisher: Attention magazine, the official publication of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) 

Date: April 2014

Hecker and Fein collaborated on a webinar on the same topic.

The article outlines many advantages offered by digital note-taking as opposed to traditional pen-and-ink approaches and examines the rich features of three current apps that support effective note-taking: OneNote, EverNote, and Notability. 

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College Readiness and ADHD

Article: "Self-Advocacy and Perceptions of College Readiness among Students with ADHD"

Authors: Lucy Stamp, M.A.T. (Landmark College Advising Supervisor, pictured); Manju Banerjee, Ph.D. (Vice President and Director of LCIRT); Franklin Brown, Ph.D. (Yale School of Medicine)

Journal: Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED), JPED 27(2), 12-47, forthcoming in June 2014.

An abstract and link will be posted here after publication.

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Landmark College Research Advisory Panel

The Landmark College Research Advisory Panel, established in 2013, is a think tank of nationally recognized educators, researchers, neuroscientists, and entrepreneurs in the field of learning differences.

Hosted bi-annually by Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT), the charge of this panel is to:

  • Keep Landmark College’s research initiatives at the forefront of new knowledge and discovery in the field of LD, ADHD, and ASD.
  • Inform Landmark College’s technology initiatives in eLearning and online delivery.
  • Share information regarding Landmark College’s research projects and practices with peers and colleagues at the highest levels.
  • Raise the College’s scientific reputation and visibility by facilitating the formation of strategic alliances and helping with the dissemination of Landmark College scientific findings.
  • Leverage panelists’ own reputations for increased visibility for students with LD and Landmark College.
  • Create a new population of supporters who might be interested in supporting and/or serving the College.

Research Advisory Panel Members:

Dr. Loring Brinkerhoff: Director, Office of Disability Policy, Educational Testing Service (ETS). Consultant for Harvard Medical School and Columbia University on learning disabilities. Read about ETS: Office of Disability Policy at www.ets.org/disabilities . Web-bio: Loring Brinkerhoff

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler:  Founder and Director of the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center and the Access Technology Center.  Professor, College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle. Read about DO-IT at www.washington.edu/doit . Web-bio: Sheryl Burgstahler

Dr. Noel Gregg: Distinguished Research Professor and Associate Dean of Research, College of Education, University of Georgia. Co-Director, Georgia STEM Access Alliance. Read about BreakThru  grant at www.georgiabreakthru.org . Web-bio: Noel Gregg

Dr. Sam Johnston: Research Scientist, CAST - Center for Applied Special Technologies. Former Senior Associate and Distance Educator, and lead curriculum developer at the Center for Social Innovation (c4si). Read about CAST at www.cast.org. Web-bio:  Sam Johnson

Dr. Matt Schneps: Director, Lab for Visual Learning, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Executive Director of Science Media Center. Read about Lab for Visual Learning at www.cfa.harvard.edu/dyslexia . Web-bio: Matt Schneps

Dr. Gordon Sherman:  Past President of IDA and current Principal of New Grange School for students with LD in Princeton, NJ.  Read about The Laurel School of Princeton at www.laurelschoolprinceton.org. Web-bio: Gordon Sherman

Mr. Gideon Stein: Founder and CEO, LightSail Education. Read about LightSail at www.lightsailed.com Web-bio: Gideon Stein

Dr. Martha Thurlow: Director, National Center for Educational Outcomes. Read about NCEO at www.cehd.umn.edu/nceo . Web-bio: Martha Thurlow

Mr. Steve Walker: CEO of New England Wood Pellet. Self-taught engineer, entrepreneur, and recognized international leader in the wood pellet sector. Read about Journey into Dyslexia HBO film. Web-bio: Steve Walker

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For additional information:

Landmark College Institute
for Research and Training
802.387.1662
institute@landmark.edu

PO Box 820
1 River Road South
Putney, VT 05346