Differentiation: a UniServity Example
In its broadest sense differentiation has been defined by OFSTED as, “the matching of work to the differing capabilities of individuals or groups of learners in order to extend their learning”.
The main themes in DCSF documents describe differentiation by:
• Task: Incorporating different tasks for pupils of differing abilities;
• Outcome: Involving setting open ended tasks which involve allowing pupil responses at different levels;
• Support: Involving giving more help and support (possibly by a support assistant) to certain pupils.
In a 2009 Tideway staff questionnaire:
• 25% of staff said differentiation was the most important theme within personalised learning;
• Most staff (54%) identified the provision of differentiated learning resources as the most important element within differentiation.
There is a long history of research evidence relating to the use of VLEs within further and higher education to support differentiation.
In terms of learning platform use suppliers identify differentiation as an area of particular strength.
This example deals with differentiation by resource within the planning of a Year 9 Digital Learning (ICT) lesson.
This is Lesson 1 in the Communication and Email series of lessons (the starter lesson to the unit of work introduced pupils to the course and assessed key skills). The lesson is being taught through the learning platform.