Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Media Communications

First Advisor

Dr. Gearóid Ó Suilleabháin

Second Advisor

Paul Green


Inclusion, or the integration into mainstream classrooms of students with learning difficulties, should strive to make the students’ education sufficiently challenging while also making considerations for their particular capabilities and needs. A key aspect of inclusion is the requirement for appropriate support services and additional aids for both students and teachers. Digital media can be effective in helping to facilitate learning and can provide opportunities for engagement, peer learning, curriculum support and assessment. It can also promote collaborative and cooperative learning when the educational content is tailored to the capabilities of individual students. Finding teaching strategies that are suitable for an entire mainstream class, regardless of the format, is extremely difficult given that children with general learning disabilities can present with a broad range of characteristics and the amount and type of these characteristics that are present are unique to the individual.

This thesis outlines some of the issues encountered in facilitating inclusive schooling and offers some observations from a comparative study that sought to investigate the extent to which digital media could facilitate inclusion in mainstream classrooms compared to traditional teaching methods. The study aimed to determine the levels of collaboration and the potential for peer learning when participants completed tasks through both a traditional desk-based learning format (TDL) and interactive digital learning format (IDL). The findings contribute to a set of guidelines, which are discussed in this thesis with a view to informing the development of digital media for the inclusion of children with learning disabilities in mainstream primary schools. Additionally, the thesis offers some implications for practice and policy and for further research to expand this valuable research area.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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