Identify and Meet the Individual Needs of Learners

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There are various reasons why it is important to identify and meet the individual needs of learners. To form an accurate student-centred individual learning plan (ILP) is necessary to help the student focus on her achievement aims on the course, small steps as to how she will do this, and what help might be needed. This can also inform and clarify student and teacher expectations of each other on the course. The teacher can find out what motivates the learner, for example, a strong desire to progress to a midwifery course following a HNC in Health and Social Care (H&SC). So any learning plan for this student would be centred around this goal, especially self-directed learning and placement provision. Specific learning needs can be identified and then addressed by the teacher, for example different coloured handouts for a dyslexic student, or by student support, for example a sign language interpretor in the class for a deaf learner. Prior to my lessons, I speak to the students' course tutor about any student individual needs that I need to be aware of and whether my chosen resources are appropriate for the students that I will be teaching. Prior knowledge and skills can be built upon with the ILP, which can help target areas for extra learning, such as specific or embedded numeracy skills, and develop areas of strength for the student, for example knowledge of local and government policy within Health and Social Care. Reece & Walker (2006) state that a focus on retention rates is increasing, so identifying the needs of learners prior to a course beginning will help the college to assess which students are likely to be able to complete the course. There are various points of referral that can be made to meet the needs of learners. In house student and learning support services are a good source for the teacher to refer to if the student has any personal problems
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