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Title: The experiences of university students diagnosed with dyslexia as they use assistive learning technologies for their studies
Author: Grove, Paul William
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 0227
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This study investigates ways in which assistive learning technologies shape the learning experiences of university students diagnosed with dyslexia. The research investigates the experiences of students from various backgrounds, studying different subjects, within numerous contexts at two institutions (a modern and traditional university). The study closely examines how these students use assistive learning technologies to support their studies as well as the wider influential strategies used in different institutional environments. The research took an in-depth qualitative approach to examining academic and disability coordinators views and practices and students' experiences through semi-structured interviews. In addition to the interviews, students were asked to record their daily use of technologies and to talk through their processes of using assistive learning technologies when completing an assignment. The research involved 10 university staff and 41 dyslexic undergraduate and postgraduate students. The findings of the research showed that the majority of students, once they had developed confidence in the use of assistive learning technologies, were able to use them in order to enhance and adapt their learning to create a personalised and accessible university experience. The findings also indicated that students' backgrounds, such as school and family, can influence their adoption of assistive learning technologies and coping strategies, but are also governed by their inner-capacity of being motivated and determined to succeed. The role of the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) and the university were instrumental in providing support and provisions that included funding for a diagnosis, face-to-face tuition and assistive learning technologies. Additionally, students regular contact time with tutors was identified as being beneficial in both accommodating their needs and providing extra support. With the integration of assistive learning technologies, the findings identified that students less experienced in the writing process and with a greater cognitive weakness followed a more structured scaffold approach. Finally, through the adoption of multi-modal methods of enablement and engagement with assistive learning technologies, students were able to reduce working memory stress and increase their independence of learning.
Supervisor: Davies, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Dyslexia ; Higher Education ; Assistive Technology ; Digital Literacy