Preparing Teachers for Assistive Technology Using Online Learning: A Descriptive Study

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2003

Publication Title

Journal of Interactive Online Learning


This paper describes the learning environment of the introductory courses provided as part of the Virtual Assistive Technology University (VATU) certificate in assistive technology for educators. VATU, sponsored by The Spurwink Institute and the University of Southern Maine, offered its first course in the spring of 2001. The Web-based courses in this certificate program provide special and general educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate assistive technology in their educational programs for students with disabilities. This paper provides an in-depth descriptive study of the rationale of strategies for embedding social learning in the first two VATU courses. As each of the seven courses is delivered, assessment of student learning and student and instructor feedback and reflection will guide the course developers and instructors in improving the effectiveness of social learning.