June 18, 2007, by Teaching at Nottingham

Learning from lectures: a dyslexic student’s view

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Kate: “Are there any teaching and learning strategies that some of your tutors may adopt that are particularly supportive of your study?”

Annie Evans, student, Archaeology: “The thing I’ve found really useful is we have one lecturer who just puts everything on WebCT (now Moodle), like seminar reading lists…absolutely everything, journals…and then its all there and provided you can get access to it you can just download it and read it straight away, or a really concise bibliography that’s in the library, not when they just put everything, when they just say, ‘Right it’s this, this and this’, all it takes is one person to take it out of the library and that doesn’t really work. So if it’s all on WebCT, if it’s scanned in, that’s much better. And the slides from the lectures, if that’s on there with the key points, that’s great. I still have to write the notes from the lecture, otherwise it’s just a lot of key points that don’t mean anything to me.”

Kate: “So when you are going to, say, a lecture, how would you approach going to a lecture, what would be your routine of study? What would you actually do in going to a lecture? What would you do before, during and after?”

Annie: “Well, make sure you’ve got a pen, that’s usually a good one! It depends on the lecture, really, because some of them they just stand up there and they just have a script that they read from and I can listen to it and it’s perfectly interesting but I won’t really be able to take notes on it, and if I do they won’t make any sense to me because I can’t really keep up with them. I will just have started sentences and by the time I’m halfway through they’ve moved on, so that’s no good. So it helps if they’ve got their key points, their pictures, and they kind of engage with you a bit more rather than just stand there and read something. I can listen and understand it and that’s fine, but I wouldn’t be able to have decent notes to go back and learn from.”

Kate: “If you could say one thing to all your other teachers, like ‘This would be great if you could do it’, are there any specific things teachers can do that support your study?”

Annie: “Just the WebCT, that’s the best one, and the slides and big print, and it helps me if it’s sort of broken up and not pages and pages of it. Just keep it really simple and really to the point, a decent bibliography that doesn’t have everything ever written on it, just the decent points; that’s most helpful to me.”

Kate: “What kinds of things can you do that help yourself?”

Annie: “I just draw pictures of something I’m trying to learn, really, that’s how I do it. I just, I don’t know, toddle along and then when it’s crunch time and I have to learn something that’s how I do it. So just anything, anything that will put it in my head really, draw a little silly picture or write a list of key points and just sit and learn them.”

Kate: “Right, so we’re going quite visual.”

Annie: “Yes, if I can draw a picture of it or a picture of something that will remind me of it, that’s what I do.”

Annie Evans (School of Humanities)

Extracts from interviews with staff and students about teaching inclusively. This video was originally published as part of PESL’s Thinking about Dyslexia collection. Produced June 2007.

Posted in Inclusive teachingLecturesMoodleStudent views