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1 Clare Trott: Supporting dyslexic STEM students

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This session Legal framework Dyslexia Reading Lectures Notes Visual learning Memory Assessments July 20132

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Legal Framework Institutions required to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled students Ensure access to goods and services. Put in place “anticipatory measures”. – Removal of unnecessary barriers – Promote best practice for the inclusion putting in place good “anticipatory measures” will pre-empt potential barriers July 20133

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Dyslexia “likely to be present at birth and to be lifelong in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual’s other cognitive abilities. It tends to be resistant to conventional teaching methods, but its effects can be mitigated by appropriately specific intervention…” (BDA, 2007) July 20134

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Dyslexic people are likely to think visually or laterally in some learning situations where neuro-typicals would be more likely to think verbally or logically. Problem Solving Cooper (2006) Dyslexic80%20% Non-Dyslexic55%45% July 20135

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Dyslexic students STEM subjects Appears less literacy skills Practical However: mathematics is – Logical – analytical system – hierarchical structures. July 20136

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Visual Stress 12% of the general population but Approx 65% of dyslexics (Evans 2002) “The inability to see comfortably without distortion and discomfort.” Wilkins (1995) July 20137

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Visual Stress (Dyslexsim, 2005) July 20138

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Reading: choice of text book July 201310

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Reading: prioritised reading list July 201311

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An Inaccessible Lecture Handwritten Few example No reference to real problems Lack structure No headings After lecture pdf July 201312

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Lecture structure Prior knowledge link to memory – Product rule for differentiation – Implicit differentiation – Sine/cosine functions Recap from previous lecture Aims of lecture Summary of key points at end Structured headings – Definition, Theorem, proof, practical eg, worked eg, check, … July 201313

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Non-linear structure Mathematics is sequential and logical Need to remember intermediate results for later use Can it be made more “dyslexia- friendly”? July 201314

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H = 0.25K + L + h(100 - L 0.5 K 0.5 ) H = 0.25K + L + 100h - L 0.5 K 0.5 h HKHK HLHL HhHh 0.25 - 0.5 L 0.5 K -0.5 h 0.25 - 0.5 L 0.5 K -0.5 h = 0 0.5 L 0.5 K -0.5 h = 0.25 L 0.5 K -0.5 h = 0.5 (1 ) 1 - 0.5L -0.5 K 0.5 h 1 - 0.5L -0.5 K 0.5 h = 0 0.5L -0.5 K 0.5 h = 1 L -0.5 K 0.5 h = 2 (2) 100 - L 0.5 K 0.5 100 - L 0.5 K 0.5 = 0 L 0.5 K 0.5 = 100 (3) (2) (1)L -0.5 K 0.5 h = 2 L 0.5 K -0.5 h 0.5 K / L = 4 K = 4LSubstitute in (3) L 0.5 K 0.5 = 100 L 0.5 (4L) 0.5 = 100 2L = 100L = 50, K = 200 July 201315

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Notes Simultaneous notes/listen Keep pace in lectures Prefers to listen Relies on full notes beforehand Accessible format July 201316

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Implications Structuring written work Documentation of method Problem-solving July 201318

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Memory Symbolic material Provide a list of all notation Departmental consistency July 201319

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Assessment CAAs – Answer only – Transcription errors Recall in exam – theorems – definitions – formulae July 201320

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Theorems a. State a particular definition or theorem Rote Recall b. Reason a proof. Dyslexics who find such learning difficult – understand maths – can develop the proof Without (a), (b) cannot be done. Double Penalty. July 201321

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“There are about 60 theorems in this module, I cannot learn them!” (Rob, 2006) DefinitionsTheoremsMarks Module 1191727% Module 2164224% July 201322

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Conclusions Choice of text books Prioritised reading lists Lecture structure Accessible notes beforehand Memory and notation – Provide list – Dept. consistency Assessment – Mode of assessment – Allows dyslexic students to show understanding and ability July 201323

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References Beacham N and Szumko J (2005) Dyslexsim, Iansyst, Caambridge British Dyslexia Association (2007)http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/further- information/dyslexia-research-information-.html (accessed 06/07/12)http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/further- information/dyslexia-research-information-.html Cooper R (2006) Making learning styles meaningful Patoss Bulletin, 19 (1) p58-63 Evans B (2002) Dyslexia & Vision, Whurr, London Trott C (in press) Good Practice Guide for Mathematics Support for STEM Students with Dyslexia, HE STEM project, Institute of Physics, London Trott C (2012), Mathematics, dyslexia, and accessibility, in Cliffe E and Rowlett P (eds), Good Practice on Inclusive Curricula in the Mathematical, HEA MSOR Network and National HE STEM program, pg 25-28, http://mathstore.ac.uk/node/2095 Wilkins, A.J. (1995). Visual Stress Oxford University Press, Oxford July 201324

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