8. Uluslararası Eğitim Programları ve Öğretim Kongresi, Burdur, Turkey, 25 March 2021
With developments such as positive changes in the attitudes of societies towards Individuals with Special Needs (ISNE), various legal regulations and benefits shown for all stakeholders in research, the inclusion model is spreading dramatically in the world and in Turkey (Sucuoğlu & Kargın, 2006). In the Special Education Services Regulation (MoNE, 2018) in Turkey, this model is defined as “ISNE can interact with other individuals of all types and levels and achieve their educational goals at the highest level by providing support education services to these individuals full or part-time with their peers”. This definition indicates that the needs of ISNE can be met in the best way in inclusive settings, and the way to achieve this is to provide adequate conditions for these individuals. Therefore, one of the issues that should be emphasized for successful inclusive practices is the instructional adaptations to be made to provide adequate conditions for ISNE. Instructional adaptations are differentiating the physical environment, functioning, materials and methods that meets the needs of students in order to ensure their development to the highest level (Kargın, 2013; Sandall & Schwartz, 2008).
Efforts on adaptation of teaching materials at the level of the MoNE have started in order to support the development of inclusive students at all grade levels of primary and secondary schools at the end of last year for the first time in Turkey. In this context, in the last few months, the General Directorate of Special Education and Guidance Services has started to publish activity books adapted for various course achievements for 302,925 students with visual, hearing, autism spectrum disorders, mental or physical disabilities who continue inclusive classrooms (https://orgm.meb.gov.tr/www/etkilesimli-uyarlanmis etkinlikleryayinlandi/icerik/1516). In order to benefit from the textbooks more effectively, the acquisitions of mathematics and life sciences courses were interactively digitalized, and access to these activities was opened interactively on the website of the general directorate on January 7, 2021 (http://orgm.meb.gov.tr/uyet/). No research has yet been found regarding the effects of these applications, which have been started more recently by the MoNE. However, it is thought that a research to be conducted for this purpose will be an important step in making the interactive digital activity tools adapted for inclusive students, which are planned to be prepared to cover other courses, to become more qualified. The purpose of this research is to examine the interactive contents of Activities Adapted for Inclusive Students (AAfIS) Mathematics and Life Sciences according to the opinions of the instructors.
This research was designed as a phenomenological research. The interview method, which is frequently used in qualitative research, was used in the study. The participants of the research group are composed of 20 experts in the field of special education and curriculum and instruction. In order to collect data, an expert interview form was developed by the researcher for AAfIS interactive content. In the interview form, there are questions to determine the positive and negative opinions of the participants about AAfIS and their suggestions for this application. The interview form was sent to the field experts online, and they were asked to fill in these forms by examining at least 18 different achievements from AAfIS ‘s interactive contents (in terms of scientific content, language and expression, visual layout, design, considering the disability type and characteristics of the mainstreaming student, feedback-correction, hint, rewarding, etc.). The data collection process of the research was completed in 15 days. The data obtained from expert interviews were subjected to descriptive analysis using MAXQDA 18 qualitative data analysis program. The research findings were presented in the company of tables, figures, code maps and by directly giving citations from participants’ expressions. In order to ensure the validity and reliability of the study, the data were processed by two different researchers who had experience in qualitative research and a consistency analysis was carried out. In addition, the validity and reliability were strengthened by making detailed descriptions and direct citations to participant expressions.
According to the findings obtained from the research, experts generally find the application of AAfIS useful. Being a special application for mainstreaming students and presenting the content with visuals are among the features that experts find positive. However, the lack of appropriate adaptations for the needs of students with special needs and the type of disability was considered a limitation. According to expert opinions, another limitation of the application is that it provides insufficient feedback and reinforcement and there is no clue. In addition, the lack of instructions for the user and the practitioner (parent-teacher) was considered as a negative feature. Experts suggested that the AAfIS program should be made for other courses and voice instructions should be added to the system. In addition, the participants suggested correcting systemic errors. As a result, the participants stated that the interactive contents of AAfIS, which were found useful in terms of making an effort for mainstreaming students, should be developed.
Keywords: inclusive student, adapted activity, special education.