Course Syllabus


This course emphasizes the types and developmental patterns of specific exceptionalities (including giftedness and poverty), addressing risk factors, etiology, characteristics, and classifications of common disabilities. It also focuses on legal issues, parent and student rights, the responsibilities of teachers, both general education and special education, quality teaching for all students, including intervention strategies, accommodations, and the use of community resources to meet children's individual needs. Finally, child maltreatment, including legal requirements, is introduced.



To enroll in this course, you must declare one of the following majors:

  • Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Professional Preschool Education
  • Child Development
  • Special Education K–12

Depending on your major, you need a C- or better in one of the following courses.

  • ED 200
  • ED 202
  • SPED 200
  • CHILD 150

Required Resources

Special Education Contemporary Perspectives for School Professionals, 5th Edition, Marilyn Friend.

ISBN 13# 978-0-13-489500-0

This book is available in course materials as an "auto access" book.  The cost of the book will automatically be added to your tuition unless you opt out by a certain date. 

Compare textbook prices on the University Store Price Comparison site. This site shows you the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price. You may purchase the book from any source.

This course also requires a microphone and webcam.

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam, once the software has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to this help guide article (Links to an external site.).


Course Outcomes

By the end of the semester or sooner, each student will be able to do the following:

  1. Explain the history, philosophy, and laws related to the education of children with exceptionalities.
  2. Explain the learning characteristics, etiology, eligibility criteria, recommended educational practices, adaptive technology, and prevalence of each IDEA disability category and educational exceptionality.
  3. Explain the six principles of disability law and the benefits of an inclusive learning environment.
  4. Advocate for the needs of exceptional students and their families and teach them to self-advocate.
  5. Apply the process and components related to the development of an IFSP and IEP.
  6. Design and implement universally designed and differentiated instruction to the individual needs of diverse learners, based on assessment data.
  7. Develop and teach instruction using the principles and models of co-teaching and explain their attendant benefits to others.

Major Assignments

The table below is meant to help you see the relevance of each major assignment as it pertains to the course outcomes.

Major Assignment Description Course Outcome #
W06 Exam  Exam on the first 6 weeks 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
W12 Exam Complete the collaborative exam. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
W14 Exam Final Exam 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions. 

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Prepare Assignment Define vocabulary. Study and annotate reading assignments. Create a concept map.
End of Week Teach One Another Discussion Create a concept map, provide peer feedback, revise, and post final version.
End of Week Teach One Another Discussion Participate on the weekly discussion
End of Week Prove Assignment-Group Presentation As a group research a specific disability, create a presentation and study aid.
End of Week Ponder/Prove Assignment Work with your group on the case study of the week.

*Set your time zone within user preferences so the dates and times for course activities will display correctly for your time zone.

Lesson Organization

  • Lessons will open early in order to accommodate students who want to get started or need additional flexibility in their schedule
    • New lessons will be opened Wednesday (11:00 p.m. mountain time) of the preceding week and will close 10 days later (Saturday at 11:00 p.m. mountain time)
  • Each lesson has three parts that support the BYUI Learning Model format:
    • Preparing to learn (Prepare)
    • Learning activities (Teach One Another)
    • Did you learn? (Ponder or Prove)

Under each of these organizers will be activities you will need to complete each week:

  • Preparing to learn (due Tuesday at 11:00 p.m. mountain time)
    • Chapter vocabulary activity
    • Resources (textbook and other readings)
    • Cognitive map (discussion board)
  • Learning activities (due Thursday at 11:00 p.m. mountain time)
    • Including writing assignments, class polls, simulations, mock IEP activities, etc.
      • You will complete many of these activities by working together in small groups.
    • Cognitive map revision
  • Did you learn? (due Saturday at 11:00 p.m. mountain time)
    • Reflections
    • Did you learn (weekly report)
      • This allows you to report on activities you have done throughout the week.

Learning Model


Professionalism in attitude, behavior, and communication should be a part of every teacher-education course. In this class, it is expected that you will do the following:

    • Fully accept the challenges of teaching and learning (also part of the Learning Model)
    • Uphold the highest standards of ethical behavior, integrity, and competency
    • Set goals for yourself; know what you want to achieve
    • Take initiative rather than wait to be told what to do
    • Be prepared to learn and teach together with others
    • Complete assignments and submit your work on time
    • Respect others; treat everyone with dignity
    • Demonstrate the ability to be a follower as well as a leader
    • Support and encourage peers
    • Always use proper speech, grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics in both written and oral expression

(Adapted from: The ABC’s of Professionalism, Kramer, P.A.; Teacher Professionalism, Phelps, P.H.; Kappa Delta Pi Record, Fall, 2003.)

Group Work

This course is intended to prepare you to begin your career as a capable, professional person who is ready to make an impact in the lives of those you will work with. An essential skill for all educators, and for special educators in particular, is the ability to work effectively in councils and committees.

This course has been deliberately designed to provide you with weekly opportunities to hone your skills as an effective council and committee member. Though the nature of the assignments you complete together as a group will vary somewhat from lesson to lesson, the purpose and objective will remain constant—to prepare you for the opportunities and responsibilities that await you in the field of education. Technological and other logistical challenges may arise as you work with your group throughout the semester. You are expected to search for solutions together as a team and to reach out for help from the TA or instructor when necessary. Your attitude and approach to the group activities in this course will be a key indicator of your overall success.

Because group and council work is such an integral component of the course, each and every student is expected to participate as an equal in their groups. Those who do not work and communicate well with their councils will fall short of achieving many of the outcomes and expectations listed in this syllabus. Grades on group assignments will reflect the quality of an individual's contribution to their group success. Group members who do not participate will receive a score of 0 for the assignment that they missed. People will be depending on you daily as an educator. Form the habit now of following through on the commitments that you make in your councils.

The course is organized into 14 one-week lessons. In Week 01, you will complete the course introduction activities to help orient you to the course and give you time to practice using the online tools. Week 14 will allow you to sum up your learning experience and reflect on both what you have learned, and what you have become through your efforts throughout the semester.

Even though this course is online, it is not an independent study course. In fact, discussion with classmates is a key component of this course. You will be expected to form opinions that can be supported with textual evidence and work together in order to better learn the course material. In order to do well, you should expect to spend 3–4 hours weekly for every credit earned. Therefore, you will need to be able to commit 9–12 hours each week to this course. If you are unable to commit to the time demands this semester, please consider taking the class some other time when you can devote the necessary time to completing the workload.

As you interact with others in various assignments, please remember to be kind, considerate, and respectful of differing viewpoints. You can differ in opinions (sometimes the best learning comes when others challenge your thinking) but still be civil. Any violation of basic common courtesy—including interaction with the instructor—will negatively impact your grade.

When participating on the discussion boards in this course, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Focus on the discussion prompts given.
  • Invite conversation by asking others how they feel about what you are sharing. What are the repercussions of a particular position? How do you see it relating to the topics of this course?
  • Stay away from divisive topics that cause bad feelings or comments that could hurt one another. Contention does not appropriately further the conversation. It is not the way of a disciple of Christ.
  • Reply openly to one another, adding your honest thoughts to the discussion.
  • You don’t have to agree with others, but your position is more persuasive if you are civil and respectful.
  • Even difficult discussions can be conducted with sensitivity and decorum according to the standards you have personally agreed to uphold.
  • When appropriate, argue for the position you really believe in. If you want to play devil’s advocate, make sure your arguments further the conversation rather than antagonize or cause passion.
  • Keep all language and topics you explore Church appropriate.


Group work and collaboration are an extensive part of the assignments. Your group will research and prepare a group presentation for two specific disabilities. Group presentations start in Week 03. Additionally, you will work in a group to prepare case studies and take a collaborative exam. Group work develops collaborative skills that prepare you to invite and engage families, school personnel, and other stakeholders.

This course is not an independent study where you work at your own pace. There are assignment due dates and deadlines.

Grading Scale

Letter Grade Percentage
A 93%–100%
A- 90%–92%
B+ 87%–89%
B 84%–86%
B- 80%–83%
C+ 77%–79%
C 74%–76%
C- 70%–73%
D+ 67%–69%
D 64%–66%
D- 60%–63%
F Below 60%

Technology Skills

Don't worry if you don't have these skills yet. The course provides information and tutorials.

  1. Create a blog page.
  2. Install and use software to develop a concept map.
  3. Use Zoom to meet with peers and record video presentations.


Each week, your instructor will post an announcement. You can reply to them by asking questions, posting answers, or reporting problems. Check back periodically to see if your question(s) or concern(s) have been resolved.

By communicating with the whole class on announcements, it informs the instructor, class members, and others while allowing the proper people to correct them. Please use this first. If you are experiencing the same problem as another student, reply to explain the seriousness of the problem. If you know the answer to a problem, please post solutions. Helping to solve your classmates’ problems is another way to teach one another.

NOTE: Email your instructor directly if the problem is of a personal nature or your instructor informs you that is the way he or she would like to be made aware of questions, problems, or concerns.

Teacher Assistant Policy

There is a TA for this course. They will be posting on the Questions and Answers Board regularly, answering any questions or concerns that you will have. They will also assist in grading your assignments so that you can contact them with questions about your feedback. Feel free to contact them. They will post or email their contact information.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office (Links to an external site.) at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations (Links to an external site.). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course includes required synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies (Links to an external site.). It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified of any changes that may take place.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due