Evaluating the effectiveness of support interventions for dyslexic learners in multiple learning environments
About the Project
This project sets out to evaluate the effectiveness of a wrap-around support package for dyslexic learners developed by staff at Primary ITO (Industry Training Organisation). The package has been designed in line with best international knowledge about adults with dyslexia. The research explores what interventions work best to assist adults with dyslexia in multiple environments including the home, classroom, and workplace.
According to the British Dyslexia Association (n.d.), internationally “ten percent (10%) of the population experience dyslexia, 4% have serious dyslexia”1. The stated policy of the New Zealand Ministry of Education until 2007 was that dyslexia did not exist. As a result, most of those with dyslexia were not supported in the education sector and many have underachieved in the workforce.
This project builds on an Ako Aotearoa Regional Hub-Funded project2 which investigated the learning experiences and needs of adult dyslexic trainees in the Primary ITO. The hub project built on a training and support model for dyslexia to help inform decisions about how to best support trainees in the classroom and workplace contexts.
Including The Skills Organisation, Service IQ, Whitireia New Zealand, and Capital Training Limited, this project broadens the scope of the previous project. The aim of this larger project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a suite of interventions for supporting dyslexic learners in a number of sectors beyond the primary sector. In line with best international practice, the interventions explored will target learners who have been tested and identified as dyslexic, as well as their employers and tutors.
The Interim Project Update tells the story of industry trainee Chris Lloyd and his mentor David Lees, working together towards trainee success as part of this project.
Seven Sharp feature – Wednesday 4 October 2017
Imagine being scared to read something aloud or frequently misspelling words?
For some, a stigma is associated with dyslexia, but others believe those with the condition have an advantage.
The project will use action research methodology and employ a triangulated approach to the data collection across North and South Island regions. Data will be gathered from a range of primary and secondary sources including:
- a comprehensive literature review, building on the initial literature supporting this application and sourced for the earlier Hub-funded project
- a baseline data analysis of the participating organisations, learner demographics, existing organisational policies, processes and practices for testing and supporting dyslexic learners
- semi-structured interviews with 80-100 dyslexic learners mid- and post intervention trials, to ascertain the usefulness and impact of the selected interventions on their learning experiences and outcomes in the classroom, workplace and home environments
- face to face and telephone interviews with or completion of an online questionnaire by thirty employers of dyslexic learners, gathering feedback on their understanding of dyslexia and how it impacts on their learner/s in the workplace setting and what they are doing now to support them
- twenty classroom observations and follow-up interviews with tutors of dyslexic learners.
The project will look at the effectiveness of the following interventions:
- Mentors and/or reader-writers to provide one-one support;
- Technological aids including Smart Pens, Dragon “Text to speak” software;
- Dyslexia information guide for tutors;
- Design and development of written material for dyslexic learners, relevant to multiple contexts (home, classroom, workplace);
- Dyslexia information guides for employers, supervisors, work colleagues and family members.
This project seeks to produce the following outputs and outcomes:
- A greater awareness inside the participating organisations of the challenges facing dyslexic learners in multiple environments;
- In-house capability development of participating organisations to meet the needs of dyslexic learners in their own contexts;
- Best practice guidelines for tutors, employers and tertiary education organisations on how to support dyslexic learners;
- Best practice guidelines and support interventions for dyslexic learners on how to manage their learning.
- Mike Styles (project leader) Primary ITO
- Marianne Farrell, Primary ITO
- Lee Agnew, The Skills Organisation
- Mike Kelleher, Capital Training
- Sue Turnbull, Capital Training
- Dianne Boss, ServiceIQ
- Mary Silvester, Whitireia New Zealand
- Dr Lesley Petersen (lead researcher), Petersen Consulting
Progress (May-July 2016)
- First Advisory Group meeting conducted
- First Team meeting conducted
- Communication plan agreed by all team members
- Ethics approval document signed off by all team members and project lead organisation
- Project contract confirmed and signed off by participating organisations and Ako Aotearoa
- Project management documents designed and disseminated to team members including:
- Baseline data collection template
- Participant list spreadsheets for each team organisation
- Spreadsheet of project team resources: Data collection
- Data collection process map
- Suite of support interventions guide
- Dyslexia advice for employers
- Information sheet for DAST screening assessors
- DAST training guide
- Consent forms designed and sent to all team members for moderation
- Interview schedules designed and sent out to team members for moderation
- Learner ‘first interview’ schedule confirmed. All team members now conducting interviews with learner participants following completion of consent forms
- Employer and tutor participants being identified and confirmed, with completed consent forms
- First stage data analysis of learner first interviews commenced.
Ako Aotearoa: $149,847 (excl. GST)
Joint organisational contribution: $149,978 (excl. GST)
Project commencement: 15 May 2016
Project completion: 15 May 2018
Expected project outputs
- A wraparound dyslexia support model applicable across the tertiary education sector
- Range of dyslexia support resources developed:
- Tutor self-evaluation checklist
- Dyslexia self-support guide package for learners
- Dyslexia support guide package for employers
- Dyslexia support guide package for tutors
- Dyslexia support guide package for mentors
- Published report of project findings and recommendations for future practice
- Workshop facilitation through Ako Aotearoa’s professional development series
- Journal article/s
- Organisational policy documents
1British Dyslexia Association. (n.d.). About the British Dyslexia Association: Background. Retrieved from http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about.
2Styles, M., Farrell, M., & Petersen, L. (2014-2015). Implementation of learning interventions which support dyslexic trainees in classroom and workplace environments. Ako Aotearoa Regional Hub Funded Project
|The report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.|