LSC – Research into Dyslexic Reading Strategies

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The Demands of Reading in Higher Education and how this Relates to Supporting Students with Dyslexia, in DSA Funded Study Skills Sessions, with Reading Strategies

This blog has been written by a Learning Support Centre Study Skills tutor Deb Amos further to her completing an Open University course relating to Dyslexia.

A sample of five students with diagnosed dyslexia, receiving support with study skills at university, were interviewed to ascertain whether they were affected by the demands of reading in higher education, looking at the reading strategies used by such students to cope with these demands.  Also considered was the possible discrepancy between the reported recommendation for support with reading and the request from the student for such support.  The opinions and attitudes of students towards a possible change in approach of study skills sessions from a student-led scenario to a more prescriptive and structured system, possibly commencing with reading strategies, was also considered.

The study found that generally, reading demands were greater in higher education than in previous academic institutions.  The reading strategies used by the students varied suggesting that imparting such strategies from the outset would be of benefit.  The supposed discrepancy between reported reading problems and student requests for help was not apparent; instead a discrepancy between the student requesting help on the Individual Learning Plan and the actual reading assistance occurring in study skills sessions was more obvious.  This finding, alongside some students stating that a more structured approach would benefit their studies, provided evidence for a possible change in approach to study skills support from a purely student-led set up to a more timetabled and prescriptive approach.