HEA Research Seminar: Access and Success for All

Today I presented alongside fellow University of Leicester colleagues at a HEA research seminar series event Access and Success for All. The seminar was organised through the Student Retention Project. The underlining theme of the day was initiatives and research that are going on at the University to support students with specific learning difficulties.

The three areas covered were:

I and my colleague Claire from the AccessAbility centre presented our online study guides project. Here is the presentation.

We preceded the presentation with our YouTube video that explains the types of support students use the AccessAbility Centre have received.

We then went on to explain the challenge is to provide an equivalent support to distance learners and the purpose of the guides enable student to self pace themselves through the support via advice, guidance and interactive activities.

In the question and answer section the guides and their potential impact was appreciated, the point was highlighted do they need to be specifically targeted at students with SPLDs or c0uld they be used more widely, and is branding the guides causing separatism. This leads to the thought how do we spread the word wider accross the institution and the sector?

Also the need for longer term impact was required. This need not be complicated, the example used during the presentation was the Improving Memory chunking exercise. A long term measure could be finding out if students are using these techniques in their studies?

The rest of the day was really interesting and stimulated great discussion, not least around the Social Model or Disability and the terminology used. The recognised sector standard is ‘Disabled Student’, however at Leicester we use ‘Students with disabilities’. This was criticised, but we defended it because it put the student first.

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