EDSP 308 Introduction to Special Education

EDSP 308 IS Sec 3, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Diane Lowry

Instructor name:
Diane Lowry, EdD, Clinical Associate Professor of Special Education, University of Mississippi

I am currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education at The University of Mississippi. I received my Bachelors degree in Communication Disorders; Master's Degree in Special Education; and Doctorate Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in reading instruction. I have taught special education for 30 years. I moved to Oxford from Marietta, Georgia in 2004. I have taught all grade levels and all special education service models, which includes resource, self-contained, and co-teaching. I was a supervisor in special education in Georgia. I have taught the gifted endorsement courses since 2006. I teach special education courses on the Oxford campus. I received the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2020.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

contact the iStudy department:

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826
E-mail: istudy@olemiss.edu

Course Description

This 15-lesson Independent Study course provides an introduction to: (1) the various diversities encountered in today’s school settings, (2) the current trends in service delivery for individuals with special needs, and (3) current legislation related to the responsibilities of public schools in serving children with special needs.

Before you can access the lesson materials, you must read the syllabus and complete the syllabus quiz. You will complete a chapter activity after lesson 8 and a multimedia project due after completing lesson 15. There is a midterm and final. In addition, there are written essays following lessons 7 and 15.

Textbook Information:

Textbook information will be provided upon enrollment in your iStudy course.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to): 

  • recall the history of special education including federal legislation, policies, and practices including best practices for students with disabilities
  • understand the roles and responsibilities and strategies for students with disabilities, of special educators, school professionals, and parents
  • understand the development and characteristics of students with disabilities and individuals at risk for a disability
  • recall the components for developing instructional strategies, instructional planning, and accommodations, modifications, and assessment procedures
  • understand teachers attitudes and behaviors that affect learning for all students

Course Outline:

This course consists of 15 instructional modules (or lessons) and 2 proctored examinations.

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Reading Assignment

Due for Grades

*You MUST complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.* NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

To be completed before proceeding

Chapter 1: Understanding Special Education

Reading Quiz

Chapter 2: The Personnel & Procedures of Special Education

Reading Quiz

Chapter 3: Multicultural and Bilingual Perspectives

Reading Quiz

Chapter 4: Collaboration in Special Education

Reading Quiz

Chapter 5: Students with Learning Disabilities

Reading Quiz

Chapter 6: Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Reading Quiz

Chapter 7: Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders

Reading Quiz & Essays

Proctored exam covering chapters 1-7

To be scheduled and completed
before proceeding

If you are a semester student, you must reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your information.

If you are a Flex UM student, you CANNOT WITHDRAW from this course after the exam has been submitted.

All lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint of the course.

The exact date semester students are required to reach the midpoint is specified in your information.

Chapter 8: Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Reading Quiz, Activity

Chapter 9: Students with Speech and Language Disorders

Reading Quiz

Chapter 10: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Reading Quiz

Chapter 11: Students with Deafness and Hearing Loss

Reading Quiz

Chapter 12: Students with Visual Impairments

Reading Quiz

Chapter 13: Students with Physical and Health Impairments

Reading Quiz

Chapter 14: Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities

Reading Quiz

Chapter 15: Students Who are Gifted and Talented

Reading Quiz, Essays,
Multimedia Project

Proctored exam covering chapters 8 through 15

To be scheduled and completed
to finalize credit


93 - 100% = A
90 - 92% = A-
87 - 89% = B+
83 - 86% = B
80 - 82% = B-
77 - 79% = C+
73 - 76% = C
70 - 72% = C-
60 - 69% = D
0 - 59% = F


You must submit the lessons required to take the course exam(s). Lessons required but not submitted will receive a grade of zero. For the final exam, all coursework must be submitted and graded.