overviewPhD Presentation NOTES #1
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[A list of references is provided in ~Notes #20]
  • The presentation provides an overview of my PhD research project which is exploring the relationship between dyslexia and academic confidence in university students.

  • The project has outgrown its original premise, largely because the information collected in the research QNR has provided a great deal more data than the project can accommodate within the scope of PhD research. The focus therefore is being specifically nailed down to looking at the impact of the dyslexia 'label' on university students' approach to their studies and their study behaviour.

  • These attributes have been measured using the Academic Behavioural Confidence Scale, developed over the last decade or so originally through research by Paul Sander and colleagues 2003-2006 who was exploring academic confidence as a sub-construct of academic self-efficacy to try to understand the study behaviour and attitudes to university work amongst undergraduate psychology students.

  • In order to explore the impact of the 'dyslexia label' on academic confidence, a key feature of the project has been to design and develop a mechanism to find students with unreported or unidentified dyslexia from amongst the more general student community. This has been essential so that the academic confidence of this group can be compared to students with identified dyslexia and also to students who show very little or no evidence of the typical study-difficulty characteristics widely associated with dyslexia at university.

  • To achieve this, it has been necessary to create a bespoke metric that not only can reliably concur that a dyslexic student is dyslexic, but which can be deployed to all students to try to identify those who present a dyslexia-like study profile - that is, who may be dyslexic - and also those who quite clearly aren't. None of the existing dyslexia-identifying metrics were suitable for this.

  • To this end, a novel Dyslexia Index has been developed which is included in the main research questionnaire alongside Sander's Academic Behavioural Confidence Scale. The information extracted from the questionnaire return datapool of 166 good datasets has enabled the designed comparisons to be made.