Presentations from Previous Professional Development Days
> HEI Tutors ‘Supporting the Dissertation student’ as a provocation case study – this facilitated discussion provides the opportunity to share case studies of students you have worked with, challenges you have faced and solutions you have come up with
> Freelance Tutors – discussion and an exchange of information on what is required of someone working as a freelancer with specific focus on exploring peer support and peer supervision
> Assistive Technology – Integrating Assistive Technology within Specialist 1:1 Support Sessions – using a cafe style approach to provoke questions and identify barriers to tutor use of technology. Importantly, it will explore tutors’ experiences of utilising AT in delivering ADSHE’s 7 principles in study skills sessions in order to share good practice and demystify the idea of the AT “expert.”
> Action Research and Publishing: research we can all do with our students in our job. It’s not about conducting statistically normed tests in order to develop statistically normed results. Action Research is concerned with the development of our understanding of what we do and why we do it in order to be able to improve (in small incremental steps if necessary) as part of the relationship with our students.
> Assessment – a structured and facilitated discussion on what is required from the practicing assessor. How do we QA both our assessment process and the reports written? Sharing best practice, hints and tips and peer support, and how to prepare for the future- the potential changes in the DSAs
Assistive Technology Forum
The focus of the Assistive Technology forum was a presentation and discussion about a free piece of software called Evernote. This was conducted by Tim Blunt, an Assistive Technology Trainer from Diversity and Ability (DnA) http://www.dnamatters.co.uk/. Tim’s presentation explored his experience of using the software from both a dyslexic learner and an AT Trainer’s perspective. Tim is a former student from the University of Roehampton. Whilst studying his Integrative Counseling BSc Tim was diagnosed with dyslexia and DnA conducted his assistive technology training, with whom he quickly found affinity, as their student-centered approach matched his counseling training closely. Upon completion of his degree, Tim was selected to become one of DnA’s AT trainers. For the past twelve months he has continued to practice counseling – working towards accreditation – alongside his work with DnA, and is looking to train for his SpLD certificates next year.
“Do you sometimes forget to take your Dictaphone with you? Or do you get frustrated with all the wires hanging around your bedroom? Evernote allows users to access notes, photos and clippings anywhere. There is a downloadable app for the computer, phone and also a web-login. Users can record lectures on mobile devices as well as making notes at the same time. Once it has finished recording, users will automatically be able to access the file on their computer through wireless syncing features. What’s more, if like me you get lost around campus or lose your car in a car park; Evernote will also allow you to take photos and will tell you where you took the photo, using the GPS coordinates to find your way back to your car!”
Evernote is software designed for note taking and archiving. It enables you to save and collate “notes” of all different kinds, from a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or clip, a photograph, a voice memo, or even a handwritten note. You can add file attachments to notes and also sort them into folders, tag, edit, comment on and share notes. Evernote Apps are available for a range of operating systems and portable devices and sync between devices automatically. Tim demonstrated how Evernote can used as an enabling organisational tool to aid short term working memory difficulties.
discussed several questions that had been previously submitted
Sandra Hargreaves asked about the assessment of EAL Students. Points that were made included:
> It would be useful to have guidelines from SASC
> The difficulties with understanding the content (and quality) of diagnostic reports that students bring with them
> The importance of finding out about; difficulties in the student’s first language, how long the student had been speaking and writing in English and the structure of the student’s first language and similarities/difference with English
> Several tutors recommended Sunderland H, Klein C, Savinson R, Partridge T (1997) Dyslexia and the bilingual learner: assessing and teaching adults and young people who speak English as an additional language, London Language & Literacy Unit. The book contains two sections: A Checklist for ESOL and Language Support Tutors and Diagnostic Interview Form which are photocopiable
> Rapid Naming could be done in both languages for qualitative reporting
Caroline Holden asked about the use of confidence intervals in assessments. Tutors, particularly those who have recently renewed their APC, felt that they were expected to quote confidence intervals for all tests and to refer to them in the text of their reports. After a discussion the forum concluded that people could decide whether they selected the 90% or 95% level but should use the same level within one report
Sarah Jackson asked what information and/or advice do the readers of a report find most useful / valuable. This provoked some discussion about who the readers were. It was felt that
> reports should be written primarily for the student
> reports are rarely read in their entirety
> information about the impact on the student was important
Keynote speaker: Jonathan Kemp (presentation) ‘How to study effectively: secrets of an information athlete’
Example of Smart Wisdom – (PDF 9.24 MB)
Jonathan Kemp is Managing Director of SmartWisdom and for the past 12 years has focused on training busy professionals with new skills to help them save time and increase their effectiveness in their day-to-day work. He also helps students studying for professional exams and MBAs with strategies which help to optimise performance. He has also spent the past 17 years developing an advanced note-taking and planning system called SmartWisdom.
Review of presentation Jonathan Kemp spoke to us about SmartWisdom. As a dyslexic learner himself he has found this system very helpful in the workplace and in his role as a trainer. He discussed how to get more out of lectures and retain the knowledge for longer and how to simplify the report writing process. He also provided some templates that would greatly assist the immediate implementation of these techniques. These strategies may be useful for our dyslexic students as an alternative to notetaking, mindmapping or concept diagrams. Research in The Journal of Dyslexia 2011 has shown how SmartWisdom helps dyslexics outperform non-dyslexics by increasing their comprehension in meetings and presentations by an average of 23% above that which can be achieved by non-dyslexics.
Jonathan is happy to be contacted with any further questions. His email is email@example.com . Please state in your email that you are an ADSHE member.
Research Round Table
Research into the Positive Side of Dyslexia – Anne Betteridge. https://www.headspace.com/ on mindfulness techniques that might be an interested starting point for thinking about your resource)
Dyslexia an Uphill Struggle or a Gift? Edward Vickerman – Edward was told he would never be a teacher because he was severely dyslexic. In October 2009 he was awarded Outstanding Newly Qualified Teacher of the Year. His experience is truly inspirational and should be heard not only by all dyslexic people but also by all teachers, tutors and mentors working with students with SpLDs.
Oral Assessment in Creative Practice Heather Symonds – Dyslexia Co-Ordinator/Advisor for LCC Heather is a founding member of ADSHE. Current research includes the viva voce together with oral assessment as inclusive curriculum. Her recently published works include: Introducing oral assessment within creative practice: ‘I can write but it’s like walking against the wind’. Presentation Staff Handbook Student notes on the viva
Diagnostic Assessor Forum. “To discuss the issues that assessors (both Psychologists and Teachers) are currently concerned with and think about how this focus group might develop”
The Assessors Forum had a lively meeting. We looked at and discussed using the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML2) as a supplement to tests of digit span. The WRAML seems to provide thorough and extensive tests of short term verbal and visual memory. We also discussed the use of confidence ratings when writing reports and found a wide variety of practice amongst members of the group. We discussed a request for research participants from a member of ADSHE.