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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 profile. The research questionnaire that has been deployed used an innovative 'Dyslexia Index', developed 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. Supporting these evaluators are 6 associated psychometric scales measuring respectively: Learning Related Emotions, Anxiety Regulation & Motivation, Academic Self-Efficacy, Self-Esteem, Learned Helplessness and Academic Procrastination. These are used to create highly original profile maps for each respondent with QNR data collected electronically through innovative, continuous-scale 'sliders' which replaced the more conventional Likert scale-item anchors.

Initial analysis of data collected so far appears to be presenting evidence that the outline hypothesis of the research is supported, however this is very tentative at this stage as data analysis has only just commenced (June 2016).

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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