B2797 - Learning Disorder Assessment

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Paola Bonifacci (Modulo 1) Luca Bernabini (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in School and Community Psychology (cod. 5961)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the training activity, the student: - knows the most recent explanatory models of specific learning disorders and scholastic difficulties; - knows the diagnostic criteria of specific learning disorders; - knows the tools for evaluating cognitive processes and learning skills; - is able to draw up recommendations for intervention in the different contexts (family, school).

Course contents

The course takes place in the second semester from the end of February to mid-May 2024 and is aimed at students of the first year of the course (Master's Degree in School and Community Psychology). The lessons are held at the Cesena (FC) headquarters of the School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, in Room E, Piazza Aldo Moro, Cesena, FC. Lessons are on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday afternoons from 14:00 to 17:00. The course is organized in 2 modules (Module 1: Dr. Paola Bonifacci, Module 2: Dr. Luca Berabini). The contents of the 2 modules are integrated, the evaluation will be carried out through a single exam. Module 1 program is as follows: - Theoretical models and studies on learning and cognitive processes - Intelligence: theories, assessment tools and atypical profiles (Limit Intellectual Functioning and Intellectual Disability) - Reading and writing: theories, assessment tools and atypical profiles (dyslexia, dysorthography, dysgraphia) - Calculus: theories, assessment tools and atypical profiles (Dyscalculia) - Text comprehension: theories, assessment tools and atypical profiles (text comprehension disorder) - Visuo-spatial and motor skills: theories, assessment tools and atypical profiles (Developmental Motor Coordination Disorder, Nonverbal Syndrome) - Bilingualism and learning: types of bilingualism and trajectories of language acquisition and learning in bilingual minority children In module 2, whose lessons will be alternated with those of module 1, the compensatory tools and software will be presented for the different profiles of disorders and learning difficulties (speech synthesis, concept maps, speech recognition devices, rehabilitation software) and, in In relation to the theme of text comprehension, metacognitive techniques on the personalized study method will be explored. The ways to promote personalized intervention paths will then be discussed starting from the evaluation of the specific individual characteristics of children with Special Educational Needs. The main objectives of the course are to acquire knowledge in the field of learning and development of cognitive functions; on the role of language development on learning and behavioral aspects; on the processes of acquisition and maintenance of skills; on methods for selecting, evaluating and using technologies for educational purposes.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of individual differences, the influence of genetic factors on the development and evolutionary trajectories of pupils with special educational needs. Furthermore, methodologies for early intervention in kindergarten will be discussed. In the analysis of the assessment tools, the characteristics and typologies of the different assessment tools (psychometric characteristics) will be briefly discussed and particular emphasis will be placed on the application of these tools with pupils who come from different cultures, in order to favor assessment procedures not discriminating.

Essential initial knowledge: knowledge of cognitive processes, general psychology (memory, language, learning, perception, problem solving). In the presentation of the theoretical models relating to the various learning profiles, the students' knowledge of general psychology will be tested, the theoretical reference models (e.g. working memory) that can be integrated by the student and the sources for accessing these will be specified. knowledge (mainly textbooks of general psychology).


Books for non attending students:

Vio, Tressoldi, Lo Presti (2022). Diagnosi dei Disturbi Specifici dell'Apprendimento Scolastico. Erickson.

Bonifacci, P., Tobia V. (2017). Apprendere nella scuola dell'infanzia. Lo sviluppo dei prerequisiti. Roma: Carrocci Editore

Ventriglia, L., Storace, F., Capuano, P. (2017). DSA e strumenti compensativ. Una guida critica. Roma: Carrocci

Slide e materiale fornito a lezione (disponibile a partire dall'inizio delle lezioni su AMS Campus)

Attending students (at least 85%):

Slide e materiale fornito a lezione (disponibile a partire dall'inizio delle lezioni su AMS Campus)

Vio, Tressoldi, Lo Presti (2022). Diagnosi dei Disturbi Specifici dell'Apprendimento Scolastico. Erickson.

Bonifacci, P., Tobia V. (2017). Apprendere nella scuola dell'infanzia. Lo sviluppo dei prerequisiti. Roma: Carrocci Editore

Teaching methods

Lectures - Individual and small group exercises for case discussion activities - Presentation of assessment tools (psychometric tests)

Assessment methods

The expected learning indicators are: - know the main experimental evidence and theoretical models on Specific Learning Disorders. - know the main assessment tools (psychometric tests and cognitive tasks) - know how to trace elements of intervention on the basis of the assessment - know the structure of a diagnostic relationship and the functional profile of learning. The verification of the acquired skills provides, on both teaching modules that cannot be distinguished during the verification, a WRITTEN exam, which is considered passed when 18 points are reached, the maximum mark is 30 Lode. FOR ATTENDING STUDENTS THE POSSIBILITY OF CARRYING OUT GROUP WORK IS PROVIDED: Drafting of a report of 3 folders relating to an early identification and strengthening project in the school environment on one of the learning areas covered in class and in the book Bonifacci & Tobia (2017): reading, writing, calculation, comprehension, attention. THE WORK WILL BE PRESENTED AND DISCUSSED IN ONE OF THE LAST LESSONS OF THE COURSE (approximately 7 May). THOSE WHO CARRY OUT THE GROUP WORK WILL NOT HAVE TO ANSWER THE THEORETICAL QUESTIONS DURING THE EXAMINATION, ONLY THE DISCUSSION OF THE COGNITIVE PROFILE WILL BE REQUIRED (maximum mark 10 points).

FOR STUDENTS NOT ATTENDING AND/OR WHO DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN GROUP WORK, THE EXAM WILL BE STRUCTURED AS FOLLOWS: - 2 THEORETICAL QUESTIONS ON LEARNING PREREQUISITES (maximum mark 10 points, 5 for each question). - PROFILE DISCUSSION (CASE). A prototype diagnostic report of a case of learning disorder will be provided (brief history, results of administrative tests relating to intellectual, cognitive and learning profile functions). The student is required to carefully read the report and answer 3 open questions in which the following will be requested: 1) Indicate any diagnostic insights useful for a better understanding of the diagnostic profile. 2) Summarize the functional profile, highlighting areas of strength and weakness, hypothesize the diagnostic profile. Support the diagnostic hypothesis with possible references to theoretical models. 3) Provide indications for the school context about the compensatory tools and teaching methodologies that can favor the expression of learning potential). For the discussion part of the profile, the maximum score is 20 points (6 points for questions 1 and 3, 8 points for question 2). The WRITTEN test can have a maximum score of 30 points (plus honors). The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the topics addressed in the lesson together with their critical use, the demonstration of the possession of an expressive and specific language mastery will be evaluated with marks of excellence. The mostly mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, capacity for synthesis and unarticulated analysis and/or a non-specific language will lead to fair evaluations; training gaps and/or inappropriate language will lead to medium-low or insufficient evaluations, in relation to the level of criticality demonstrated. The time available for carrying out the test is 2 hours. ATTENDING STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATE IN GROUP WORK DURING THE EXAM WILL BE ASKED TO DISCUSS THE CASE AND NOT THEORETICAL QUESTIONS. N.B. FOR STUDENTS WHO TAKE THE EXAM WITHIN THE FIT COURSE (24 CFU) THE EXAMINATION MODALITIES PROVIDES 31 QUESTIONS WITH MULTIPLE CHOICE ANSWER (NOT THE DISCUSSION OF THE REPORT). THE REFERENCE TEXTS DO NOT VARY.

To take the exam, registration on the ALMAESAMI electronic bulletin board is required, in compliance with the set deadlines. Those who are unable to enroll due to technical problems by the scheduled date are required to notify BOTH teachers via e-mail.

Teaching tools

PC with projector, audio and video files, paper tools

Office hours

See the website of Paola Bonifacci

See the website of Luca Bernabini