Dyslexia in Higher Education: a systematic review of interventions used to promote learning

Sharon Dobson Waters, Carole Torgerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Introduction and Background: A report by HEFCE (2015) observed that a notable number of learners with dyslexia expressed concern at the levels of support they received, and that individual support plans provided to their departments were not implemented fully.
Aim: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of any published inventions used to promote learning for learners with dyslexia on HE programmes.
Study Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for inclusion studies had to evaluate interventions aimed at improving outcomes for students with dyslexia.
Methods: Potentially relevant studies were searched for and retrieved from: Education Resources Information Centre; British Education Index; Education Research Complete; EPPI-Centre library; Psych Info; Social Sciences Citation Index; Cochrane Library and Campbell Collaboration database.
Data Extraction and Quality Appraisal: Data was extracted from the studies using specially developed data extraction templates, one for studies of experimental/quasi-experimental design and one for systematic reviews. The included studies were quality appraised for internal validity, external validity and relevance.
Synthesis: A thematic narrative synthesis was carried out on the studies’ data.
Results: One review and eight single studies of experimental/quasi-experimental design were included in the synthesis.
Limitations: Evidence from the included studies was limited in terms of the number and rigour of studies. This impeded the review’s ability to establish strong evidential conclusions.
Conclusions: There is a scarcity of high quality, experimental research that tests the effectiveness of dyslexia support interventions in HE. Pockets of good practice exist which may prove useful but these require further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-256
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Issue number2
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020


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