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Effective: Fall 2012
ALLD 210UNDERSTANDING LEARNING DIFFERENCES3 Unit(s)

Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ALLD 601.
Grade Type: Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: None
3 hours lecture. (36 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Identify different parts of the brain and their functions, and how it relates to memory, cognition, and emotions.
  • A successful student will be able to evaluate individual learning preferences, strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
Description -
Focuses on learning differences, learning theory and strategies related to specific learning challenges. Creation of individual learning portfolio to identify learning style, strengths and weaknesses. Covers understanding of learning differences, methods of retention and output of knowledge. Cognitive and achievement testing will be provided as appropriate to identify student individual learning profile.

Course Objectives -
Students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate and identify mental attributes for learning including attention, perception, memory, language skills, and executive functions.
  2. Explain the connection between emotion and thinking
  3. Evaluate personal attributes which may lead to academic success
  4. Identify personal learning styles, strengths and weaknesses
  5. Develop compensatory learning strategies and techniques
  6. Define what a learning disability is and describe its impact on learning
  7. Describe college resources and use those resources appropriately to meet student need.
  8. Explain social and psychological impact of learning differences
  9. Demonstrate communication with faculty members regarding academic challenges
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Woodcock Johnson III, Cognitive and Achievement Battery, WRAT 4, Wechsler Adult Achievement Scale III, Nelson Denny Reading Test.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Understanding parts of the brain and its functions
    1. Exterior parts of the brain
      1. Frontal Lobes
      2. Temporal Lobes
      3. Occipital Lobes
      4. Parietal Lobes
    2. Interior parts of the brain
      1. Thalamus
      2. Hypothalamus
      3. Hippocampus
      4. Amygdala
    3. Nutrition for the brain
    4. Brain development in young children
  2. Information Processing
    1. Information processing model
      1. Visual processing
      2. Auditory processing
      3. Kinesthetic processing
      4. Left and right hemisphere processing
    2. Memory
      1. Long term memory
      2. Short term memory
      3. Working memory
      4. Rote memory
      5. Associative memory
    3. Executive functioning
      1. Self-regulation
      2. Meta-cognition
      3. Impulsivity
    4. Attention
      1. Distractibility
      2. Hyper-focus
      3. Hyperactivity
  3. Language processing
    1. Spoken language
    2. Written language
    3. Reading and phonemic awareness
    4. Reading and intelligence
  4. Learning disabilities
    1. Types of learning disabilities
    2. Impact of LD on learning
    3. Learning Disability (LD) and intelligence
  5. Personal learning
    1. Review of cognitive and achievement testing
    2. Self-examination of personal strengths and weaknesses
    3. Implementation of learning strategies to mitigate weaknesses
  6. Learning Strategies
    1. Concept mapping
    2. Summarizing and paraphrasing
    3. Note-taking
    4. Chunking
    5. Time-management
    6. Mnemonics
    7. Contextual learning
    8. Journal writing
  7. Emotion and learning
    1. Role of emotion in memory
    2. Role of emotion in reasoning
    3. Role of emotion in novel situations
  8. On and off campus resources for learning
    1. Foothill resources
      1. Disability Resource Center (DRC)
      2. Physical Science, Mathematics and Engineering (PSME) center
      3. Tutorial center
      4. Writing center
      5. Counseling department
    2. Web resources
      1. Learning Disability (LD) Online
      2. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
      3. Parents Helping Parents
  9. Communication with faculty members
    1. Model/ Role play communication with faculty members
    2. Create a fact sheet about student's personal learning style
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Weekly journal
  2. Mid-term exam
  3. Personal learning portfolio
  4. Final exam
  5. Review learning disabilities evaluation results
  6. Individual presentations
Representative Text(s) -
Sousa, David A., How the Brain Learns, 3rd edition, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA 2006
please note: this text is the best choice for the class, and 2006 is the latest revision.

Disciplines -
Special Education
 
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture
  2. Laboratory
 
Lab Content -
Cognitive and Achievement testing using the following test instruments:
  1. Woodcock Johnson III Tests (Cognitive and Achievement)
  2. Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale
  3. WRAT IV
  4. Nelson Denny Reading Tests
  5. Learning Style Inventory
 
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Reading Assignment Example:
What is a memory? Is it actually located in a piece of the brain at a specific spot? Are memories permanent? How does the brain manage to store a lifetime of memories in an organ the size of a melon? Is forgetting actually losing the memory or just access to it? The definitive explanation for the memory is still elusive. Nevertheless, neuroscientists have discovered numerous mechanisms that occur in the brain that, taken together, define a workable hypothesis about memory formation, storage and recall. (p 78)
Writing Assignment Example:
In your journal each week, write down key points, ideas and strategies that you learned. This is your personal journal summary and will help you jog your memory later. (Adapted from Sousa, David A. (2006): How the Brain Learns (3rd edition), Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA)