Practitioners' Perceptions of Their Knowledge, Skills and Competencies in Online Teaching of Students with and without Disabilities

Diana L. Greer, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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Sean J. Smith, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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James D. Basham, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

Abstract

The need for skilled teachers in online learning environments is presently evident and projected to grow into the future.  A survey of education practitioners (N = 127) about their knowledge and competencies in online teaching of students with and without disabilities found that they generally recognized the importance of online learning and the specialized competencies it requires.  However they lacked confidence in both themselves and their colleagues to effectively use online learning environments in their teaching, and were particularly unprepared to teach students with disabilities.  Although many indicated that they currently taught online or blended courses, they had low awareness of online learning platforms, which hold promise for individualizing education for students with and without disabilities.  A call is issued to address this lack of knowledge, skill, and competency in online instruction among current and future educators.

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