Study at University Students
The study carried out by MacCullagh, Bosanquet, & Badcock (2016), examined the
learning experiences of people with dyslexia in universities. Additionally, it evaluated the factors
which facilitated the success of dyslexic students in the higher learning institutions.
Consequently, the study provided insight into their strengths and challenges in relation to
lectures, technology, study skills, and support services. It also analyzed their self-directed
adaptive techniques. Exceptional student education (ESE) is concerned with the educational
needs of gifted or disabled students. The study contributed to ESE by investigating the ways
through which the learning experience of these students could be improved. This paper provides
a comprehensive summary and review of the aforementioned article.
According to MacCullagh et al. (2016) dyslexia, a learning difficulty, affects 4 to 12
percent of people. Dyslexic students have a lower reading ability than peers with similar IQ and
age. Additionally, they are majorly underrepresented in universities around the world. The
researchers began by evaluating past studies, during which they found that most of the studies
were biased towards the cognitive skills of these students. In this light, the prior researchers had
evaluated the mathematical calculations, reading, general learning, and writing skills of the
students (MacCullagh et al., 2016). The studies reported that dyslexic students’ sentence
structure and idea expression was similar to that of their counterparts. However, they had greater
anxiety and challenges when solving Math problems. The students also expressed difficulties
with memory, organization, listening, and concentration. 80 percent of dyslexic progressed with
their degree course normally (MacCullagh et al., 2016). Additionally, 40 % of the dyslexic
graduates in the UK system attained first class or upper second-class honors, which was
DYSLEXIA STUDY AT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS 3
considered a good performance (MacCullagh et al., 2016). However, the percentage was lower
than students without disability, half of whom attained the aforementioned grades.
The researchers used semi-structured interviews. They acquired their sample population
through email invitations and advertisements on campus notice boards. The researchers
compared the experience of 13 dyslexic students with 20 non-dyslexic classmates (MacCullagh
et al., 2016). They focused on the daily learning experiences of dyslexic students. In this regard,
they evaluated the students coping strategies, the use of learning technologies, challenges,
adjustments and accessibility, identification as dyslexic, and collaboration with academic staff.
According to the researchers, the students reported challenges in taking lecture notes
(MacCullagh et al., 2016). For instance, most of the students reported that they could not take
notes successfully while listening to the lecturer. Additionally, the students experienced
difficulties where lectures were delivered without any form of physical interaction with the
lecturer (MacCullagh et al., 2016). Dyslexic students also reported difficulty in attentiveness
where lectures exceeded two hours. Similarly, the students found it challenging to follow lecture
slides in cases where the slides had not been availed before lectures. They also found complex
journal articles or similar prescribed readings challenging to comprehend.
Visual and auditory distractions in class also affected the students’ ability to concentrate
and comprehend (MacCullagh et al., 2016). Consequently, they found normal assessment
techniques discriminative as distractions like shuffling papers, sneezing, coughing, and external
noises significantly compromised their ability to concentrate (MacCullagh et al., 2016). They
also encountered several technological issues. For instance, recorded learning material often had
quality issues which hindered effective usage of video and audio recordings. Consequently, the
DYSLEXIA STUDY AT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS 4
students had embraced unique note-taking techniques, strategic reading, and use of online
They also proposed several ways in which the lecturers and institutions could support
them. For instance, they could provide them with programs like AudioNote and OneNote
programs which made time-stamped recordings (MacCullagh et al., 2016). Lecturers were also
requested to embrace engaging speaking styles, video recordings, and face to face lectures to
facilitate learning through auditory, visual, and non-verbal prompts. Similarly, the students
suggested that lecturers could use images, fewer notes per slide, and real-time drawings to
improve their learning experience.
Equally, lecturers requested to avail PowerPoint or Word slides for the students to read
prior to lectures. Besides, they suggested that lecturers could provide them with a list of
appropriate videos to enable them to judge the online sources’ quality and relevance
(MacCullagh et al., 2016). Institutions were also implored to provide customized disability
support for dyslexic students. Open communication between the institution, tutors, and students
would also enable the lecturer to take the unique needs of dyslexic students into account.
The researchers reported participant and researcher bias as a threat to their study due to
their reliance on interviews. Additionally, they used a small sample population which threatened
the external validity of the study (MacCullagh et al., 2016). The practical application of the
students’ suggestion was also not evaluated, compromising their practical applicability.
Therefore they suggested opportunities for additional research comparing self-reports of students
to their tutors’ reports. The practical applicability of the students’ recommendations could also
DYSLEXIA STUDY AT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS 5
The article was well organized and referenced. Its arguments were supported and its
conclusions logical. It also recognized the limitations involved. Additionally, the findings of the
research align with the recent research on personalized learning material for dyslexic students. In
line with Ghani & Gathercole (2013), many people and institutions disregarded the learning
needs of dyslexic students. The researchers recognized the difficulty faced by dyslexic students
in concentrating, note-taking, scheduling, concentrating, information processing and storage, and
internal motivation. Consequently, the researchers advocated for alternative customized teaching
techniques for dyslexic students (Ghani& Gathercole, 2013). However, its sample technique
limited its ability to be applied to the general population.
DYSLEXIA STUDY AT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS 6
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