IT Resources and Diversity

A teacher has a very diverse group of learners, and teaching spaces with insufficient resources for practical activities. How can the curriculum be (re)designed to support everyone?

Vignette #31


Context: Entry level IT class in a Further Education college.

Half of the 30 students in my class have mental health issues or other support needs. There is a small group of mature learners – young mothers and older ‘returners’ - who support each other well but there is also a group of recent school leavers who are stubbornly disengaged and sometimes disruptive.

The course content is very practical - we cover the basics skills needed to use computers in a workplace, such as email, word processing and spreadsheets. We have 6 hours of face to face class time each week, but 3 of these are scheduled in a room without any computers. I have attempted to get this room changed, but I am told there are no other spaces available. Very few of the students have access to a mobile device suitable for course activities and they rely on college resources, so these classroom sessions are very difficult to manage. I have tried booking the college trolley of 15 laptops, but these are often left uncharged, some seem to be permanently out of action, and there are not enough for everyone.


My dilemma is how to motivate everyone, meet the diverse needs of the students and deliver the course within these limited resources. 


  • What can I do to accommodate individual and whole class needs in the current situation?
  • Should I focus on sorting out problems with IT resources and classroom space, or think about developing a blended curriculum (involving online and face to face support), or focus on something else to make the most progress with this dilemma?
  • Who should I involve to help me tackle this dilemma?