Authors: Rune Andreassen, Magne S. Jensen, Ivar Bra ̊ten

[Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Volume 30, Issue 9, November 2017]

The transition from high school to college can be hard for any student. For dyslexics, this task can be especially difficult because of their existing challenges with reading and writing. Dyslexia can impact an individual’s life from learning to read in childhood all the way to developing study/work strategies in adulthood. Despite this, an increasing number of dyslexic students are attending post-secondary school, making research on study habits extremely relevant. Conducted by researchers in Norway, this study looks into the differences of study strategies between dyslexic and non-dyslexic undergraduate college students, opening the door for further research of this kind.

This study was conducted with 34 first-year undergraduate students in Norway, half of whom were dyslexic. Data was collected from web-based diaries where students entered their daily study strategies. To more easily classify the data, researchers used attending lectures, individual study, and group study as the three different contexts of studying. In addition, students reported the perceived benefits of each strategy they used, giving information about self-efficacy and the overall results. The results of this study are based on a small sample size, so it is important to take that into consideration when drawing broader conclusions. Between the two groups, the type and quantity of strategies were mostly similar. However, dyslexics used visual strategies such as highlighting and drawing diagrams more frequently than those in the non-dyslexic group. Also, some of the dyslexic students utilized audiobooks and rated them as very beneficial, while none of the non-dyslexic students listened to them. Lastly, it was found that dyslexic students studied more with others than non-dyslexic students. Among both groups, there was a strong relationship between the study strategies and self-efficacy, leading to better performance in the class. Despite what one might think, there was not one certain strategy that dyslexics used more than the others. However, visual and social strategies were used more among dyslexics, which can be connected to the neurocognitive processes that help them learn better. Again, this study was done with only one set of students from one university in Norway. Further research is necessary to validate these results, but indications implicate the importance of teaching study strategies to dyslexic students before entering college.

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