link to research flyerProject Overview (updated October 2017)

Academic Confidence and Dyslexia at University

This project is interested in the impact of the dyslexic label on university students' academic confidence

The premise being tested is that students with an identified dyslexic learning difference present a lower level of academic confidence than not only their non-dyslexic peers, but, more significantly, than their non-identified dyslexic peers.

This is thought to be a fresh approach to exploring how students attributed with learning differences tackle their studies at university. The research hopes to demonstrate that it may be the identification of a learner as 'different' that has the more significantly negative impacting factor on their academic confidence rather than factors attributed to the learning difference itself. If this emerges from the analysis the research may also be raising
ethical questions relating to the disclosure of learning differences to university students.

A significant challenge has been to develop a way to find students with an unreported dyslexia-like learning profiles. This issue was solved through the development of an innovative 'Dyslexia Index Profiler' that was included in the research questionnaire. The Profiler was grounded in results from an earlier-stage enquiry to dyslexia support professionals working in UK universities. This has been integrated with the standardized, Academic Behavioral Confidence Scale as the key metric for gauging academic confidence.

In this survey of 166 university students, the research outcomes appear to be supporting the research hypothesis that it may be the identification of learners as 'different' that is the significantly affecting factor on their academic confidence. Analysis of the data collected showed a moderate effect size of g = 0.48 between the Academic Behavioural Confidence of students with identified dyslexia and students with previously unidentified dyslexia-like study profiles, supported by a statistically significant difference between the mean ABC values of the two groups (t = 1.743, p = 0.043).

The researcher is taking the unusual approach of continuous publication of the project's progress through this website which diarizes the project's development, provides a reflective commentary through the StudyBlog and presents research data outcomes in highly visualized ways.
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