| Activity name
Student Centred Support
|| Leeds Met, Durham, Newcastle
| Aims Covered: 4
|| June 2007 to June 2009
||The introduction of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act
(SENDA, 2001) and the Disability Discrimination Act part IV (DDA, 1995)
provide an opportunity and incentive to review T&L methods and see
how the requirements of the students with special needs can be
addressed. Through the adoption of emerging guidelines, together with
investigations into the impact of assessment approaches on students
with special needs, ALiC seeks to minimise the risks for such students
and enhance the experience and success of the whole student population.
During Years 1 and 2, the actvities undertaken through this work
package achieved a number of objectives and provided the background for
areas for continued exploration and development.
||In addition to collaboration between sites to establish an over-arching
view of student-centred support, each site is undertaking a specific
area of activity designed to examine a particular area of support for
students (and teaching staff), including:
- supporting students with special needs, especially those with Dyslexia;
- raising and developing staff awareness of some of the challenges
students with special needs might face and resources for developing
appropriate learning materials and assessment;
- supporting a diverse student population in their group and project based work;
- strategies for enhancing and supporting the first-year student experience;
- alternative approaches to curriculum design;
- Explore and examine mechanisms, strategies, and tools to support staff in teaching a diverse student population;
- Strategies for engaging and supporting students in their first year at university.
- Collection and analysis of data from a range of interviews, focus
groups and activity outputs (eg exams, project reports etc) including
commonalities and differences between partner sites.
- Adoption and adaption and feedback from good practice by staff at partner sites.
- Comparison of results with HE survey results and evaluation of
events, materials, curriculum changes and teamwork situations have been
successful or require improvement/changes.
| Expected outcomes
- Increased staff awareness of some of the challenges faced by students with common special needs.
- An enhanced learning experience for students through the provision of better support for group and project based work.
- A better understanding of the impact of team /peer learning as a
teaching strategy, and of assessment strategies, to enhance and support
the first year student experience.
- A better understanding of whether the use of social technologies
and active learning approaches in the first year curriculum increases
students’ engagement with their studies and if this has an impact on
| Expected outputs
- Dissemination of research findings, experience reports,
techniques, and support material for the teaching and learning issues
surrounding an increasingly diverse student population including
approaches to assessment, group and project based work, and curriculum
- Dissemination of alternative approaches for developing staff
awareness of accessibility and other issues in students' lives that
have the potential to diminish a student's learning experience in HE.
- Staff may choose not to adopt these special needs support materials such as the guidelines.
- Support templates may be too restrictive for some topics such as
maths. Mitigation: identify problem areas and develop specialised
- Difficulty in obtaining permission from, or access to data on, individual students with special needs.