The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shift in teaching practices from physical to virtual spaces. The Early Preschool Experience Program (EPEP) by the Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP) is a one-year preschool for children with Down syndrome between the ages of 1.5 – 2.5 that teaches basic functioning skills across six areas of academic intervention: Communication & Language, Fine Motor and Gross Motor Skills, Cognition and Play, Social and Emotional Development, and Self-help Skills. This case study compares the difference in learning outcomes for preschoolers in these six areas between physical and virtual classes. The percentage increase in learning was measured through pre-test and post-test evaluations of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) achieved in the physical batch of 2019 and the virtual batch of 2020, where 13 students were enrolled in each. The comparison of results between both batches indicated that SLOs in virtual classes increased by 11 percentage points, as compared to the 46-percentage point increase in the physical space. The findings reflected that the academic learning outcomes of preschoolers with Down syndrome depend on their ability to focus, respond to and follow instructions.

Author: Saira Nazneen Ibrahim

Published in: World Congress on Special Needs Education (WCSNE-2021)

  • Date of Conference: 22-24 November 2021
  • DOI: 10.20533/WCSNE.2021.0009
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-43-3
  • Conference Location: Virtual (London, UK)