STUDENTS SHARE THOUGHTS ON TECHNOLOGIES THAT ENHANCE HIGHER EDUCATION STUDY
Dolphine Computer Access LTD
The Old Rectory
West Sussex RH20 2EU,
Day Phone: 012 738-73600
• Specialist equipment allowance for assistive technologies such as screen reading or text to speech systems, speech recognition, alternative input devices etc.
• Non-medical helper allowance — for example note-takers, interpreters, specialist study skill support.
• General Disabled Students’ Allowance — to cover, for example, insurance, access to the internet, Braille paper and photocopying costs.
• Reasonable spending on extra travel costs.
the years a variety of different services have grown up around these allowances
and some of these are now being quality assured, with for example regular
audits of both the centers that provide the assessments and the companies that
provide the technologies. However, these audits do not cover technology
training companies or those who offer study skills support outside the
reports that are generated from the study needs and strategy assessments cover
all aspects of the student’s disability in relation to the course they wish to
undertake and their proposed learning environments. Their skills, prior
knowledge and use of technology are assessed whilst new technologies may be
introduced and other aspects of support discussed.
equipment provided is designed to help support the students with their course
and is orientated towards assistive technology that integrates with courseware
or the virtual learning environments used. Although the majority of the
equipment tends to be electronic in nature, and covers the widest range possible
for those with disabilities, it may also include ergonomic items to an increase
comfort levels when working with a computer or overlays, handheld magnifiers
etc when working with paper based resources.
five percent of the student population has a disability according to the Higher
Education Statistics Agency of which a large proportion has specific learning
difficulties including dyslexia or LD. Most of these students receive hardware
and software linked to enhancing their written language skills. It is these
students who form the bulk of the survey and have offered comments as to which
technologies have helped them the most in their studies.
the past it appears to have proved immensely difficult to capture the views of
students regarding their use of their technologies and the training received.
This presentation aims to illustrate how one study was undertaken that
succeeded in capturing data relating to these issues but also acknowledges the
pitfalls encountered along the way.
students contact suppliers’ technical and maintenance departments having
received their equipment. The survey highlights some of these issues and
whether they are related to the assistive technologies or other aspects of the
for Audience: To become aware of some of the views students may have about the
equipment they receive to enhance their studies in higher education and the
technical issues that may arise.
Knowledge of topic assumed: Low
Contains advanced technical content: on occasions