Evaluating Technology for Your Special Populations Program: Top 10 Questions to Ask

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 -- Sarah Cornelius

Online solutions can have a huge impact on your special populations program. The right program can provide meaningful insights to your learners’ strengths, knowledge gaps, and progress to help you offer effective and individualized instruction. However, every special populations program is unique, and so are the technology programs designed to support them. Make sure you are choosing one that will fit your institution’s needs by considering the following questions:

1. Is the system “teacher friendly”?

• Are materials, course plans, and enrollment tools well organized and easy for educators to use?

2. Does the system include performance reports that will help educators spend their time on the right learners and the right topics?

• Are reports easily accessed by educators and administrators?

3. Does the program content align to applicable standards?

• Are there clear performance objectives provided that match these standards? 
• Is there efficacy to support that the program effectively helps learners meet standards?

4. Does the program provide content that is accessible and relevant to learners of varying abilities and needs?

• Is text provided at a range of reading levels?

5. Is the format of the program interesting, visually appealing, and age appropriate?

6. Can the system be customized to support personalized education plans?

• Does the system include a wide range of acceleration and remediation activities?

7. Does the program content foster learner engagement?

• Are learners required to actively participate in lessons?

8. Does the program provide learners with immediate, applicable, and varied feedback that is embedded within activities and assessments?

9. Are a variety of media types used to engage different learning styles?

• Are learners exposed to single concepts or skills from multiple angles?

10. Do lessons and activities build upon concepts and skills in a logical manner that supports development and understanding of the connections between them?

• Are learners required to master each learning objective before moving on to the next?
• Will a subject be presented differently if a learner is struggling to master it?

Are you currently evaluating technology for your special populations program? Check out our Evaluation Guide to help you assess and rank the most critical aspects of the programs you are considering. Interested in learning more about Edmentum’s research-backed online solutions for special populations? Check out our adaptive intervention solution!