Understanding Learning Difficulties

One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is understanding and meeting the needs of students with difficulties in learning. This course helps teachers to develop practical strategies to meet the needs of students experiencing difficulties in learning. Over seven lessons, you will explore:

  • The difference between learning difficulties and learning disabilities.
  • The academic, psychological and social consequences of difficulties in learning.
  • Pathways to diagnosis for students you suspect might have a learning disability.
  • Current research on effective strategies for assisting students experiencing difficulties in learning.
  • How you can apply the theoretical understandings from research in your real classroom contexts.
Course Mode

This course is self-paced with no fixed start or end dates, allowing you to fit in study around your schedule.

Course Details

Lesson One: Introduction to Learning Difficulties
This introductory lesson provides a broad overview, defining and exploring both learning difficulties and learning disabilities.

Lesson Two: Research Findings
This lesson provides a synopsis of the most relevant and reliable research relating to effective instructional practices for students with learning difficulties and learning disabilities.

Lesson Three: Strategies to Enhance Learning
Lesson Three looks at how teachers can build on the theoretical understandings they developed in Lesson Two, to apply teaching and learning strategies in their own unique classroom contexts.

Lesson Four: Applying Strategies in the Classroom
Lesson Four provides an in depth example of how the principles explored in previous lessons might look in the classroom.

Lesson Five: Review
This lesson is a review and summary of the key messages from the preceding lessons.

Lesson Six: Reflection
Throughout this lesson, teachers are encouraged to reflect broadly on which of the topics covered in previous lessons are most relevant to their own learning needs and how these topics can inform their teaching practice.

Lesson Seven: Resources and Links
A range of links to resources, associations, videos, webcasts and websites to assist in ongoing professional learning related to this topic.

Course Outcomes

On completion of this course, you will:

  • Understand the importance of implementing clearly defined procedures for identifying and assisting students who are performing below expectations.
  • Be able to evaluate and refine current processes and procedures for assisting students with difficulties in learning, at both a whole school and classroom level.
  • Be able to identify some cognitive and affective characteristics of students with learning difficulties and/or learning disabilities.
  • Assess the efficacy of instructional approaches and develop strategies for identifying new evidence-based instructional approaches.
  • Work in teams to facilitate general classroom instruction and specific instructional interventions that meet the needs of all students, including those with learning difficulties/disabilities.
  • Implement specific instructional approaches that motivate, engage and support all students to reach their full potential.
  • Implement instructional approaches that reduce learned helplessness, task avoidance and other behavioural issues frequently experienced by students who have difficulty learning.
Course Certification

Once you have completed this course, you will have immediate access to certification which you can provide to your relevant State or Territory teacher registration body to satisfy requirements for continuing registration.

This course is recognised by VIT, QCOT, TRBSA, TRBWA, TRBNT, and TRBT as contributing 6 hours of professional learning addressing APST: 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 5.4, 6.3

This course is recognised by BOSTES/NESA as contributing 6 hours of professional learning addressing APST: 1.6.2, 3.3.2, 4.1.2, 5.4.2

Course Cost

Casual Teacher: $59

Classroom Teacher: $149

We also offer discounted rates for whole school PD

Whole School (Whole School (<50 teachers): $1799
Whole School (Whole School (>50 teachers): $2399

Our normal rate is the Classroom Teacher rate. We do offer a significantly reduced rate for casual teachers because we realise that without a significant discount most casual teachers aren’t able to access quality professional learning.

Use the Casual rate if you are:

  • A teacher working casually through an agency or not currently on a contract
  • On family leave
  • A pre-service teacher
  • A teacher not currently working, wanting to maintain your accreditation
  • A teacher working overseas, wanting to maintain your accreditation in Australia

Use the Classroom Teacher rate if you are:

  • Employed full time by a school as a classroom teacher or education support staff
  • Employed part time by a school as a classroom teacher or education support staff
  • Employed by a school on a contract >1 term

Teacher Reviews

Easy to follow, clear layout, great resources.

(K.H. 11/1/2017)

Teacher Reviews

Information was thorough and excellently presented. The lessons were clearly explained and illustrated by classroom examples. A comprehensive supply of supporting material and useful links was supplied to enable teachers to extend their research and hence improve their classroom practice in relation to assisting students.

(T.D. 6/9/16)

Teacher Reviews

Very interesting material and easy to follow. Thank you.

(E.M. 18/1/2017)

Teacher Reviews

This course flows well and is easy to follow. The information provided is incredibly helpful…as it gives examples on how to manage particular behaviours and gives clear definitions of terms.

(T.A.T. 11/1/2017)

Teacher Reviews

This course was informative, interesting and easy to follow. It will help with keeping in mind all the unique differences we have in a classroom and to be proactive, rather than reactive- which is an area all teachers need to work on with their students. Thoroughly enjoyable and I will be back.

 (J.H. 23/8/16)

Teacher Reviews

 The course was greatly set out and provided useful information. I enjoyed the reflection activities.

(T.D. 10/10/16)

Teacher Reviews

 I liked that I could do it in my own time. It was very thorough and practical and useful. Also current and up to date in knowledge, theory, approaches and resources. Great course!

(C.S. 29/9/16)

Teacher Reviews

 I have now got a better understanding of the differences between a learning difficulty and disability and knowing how to help and plan lessons for these sorts of children in my grade more cohesively.

Teacher Reviews

All the resources at the end of the course are amazing and I can’t wait to search through them more and have a better look.

Teacher Reviews

It brought my attention to the need for small group & individual group attention. It also made me question what role as a casual teacher i can bring to the table..

Teacher Reviews

The course definitely filled some gaps regarding learning difficulties and has certainly encouraged me to understand the psychology of learners.

The links to further resources will also help in exploring further some of the content I have learnt during this course.

Would definitely recommend this module to other teachers.

Teacher Reviews

The module was easy to follow and included some great practical strategies to address learning difficulties.

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