Experiences of emergency online learning during COVID-19 for university students recently diagnosed with dyslexia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This research has two aims. First to explore the lived experiences of online learning during COVID-19 for students with a diagnosis of dyslexia. Second to explore the approaches and strengths used by recently diagnosed dyslexic students following the shift to online learning.
The study addresses the following questions:
• What challenges does online learning pose for recently diagnosed students?
• What coping strategies do they draw on?
• What strengths / benefits do they experience with online learning?

The shift to online learning within UK universities as a result of COVID-19 was sudden and unexpected. A report by the Office for National Statistics published in December 2020 indicated impacts on student experience for the student body in general. However less is known about the experiences of those with dyslexia. The current research is based on interviews with recently diagnosed students following the shift to emergency online learning. Participants received an initial formal diagnosis of Dyslexia during the first year of their studies. Data were collected via in-depth semi-structured interviews that derive from current research, and the researchers professional experience working as a Specialist Study Skills Tutor. Thematic analysis was used to identify, analyse and report patterns in the data. This was carried out inductively allowing the data to determine the themes. Emerging themes include adjusting to changes in teaching approaches; increase in stress and anxiety from changes to assessments and environment, accessibility and barriers to learning, delay in receiving assistive technology; increased participation in student led groups; seeking connections to other dyslexic students; sharing of strategies; and adaptability to situations. Recommendations will be made about best practice in changes to teaching approaches and facilitating social support for those with dyslexia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021
EventBritish Dyslexia Association International Conference 2021: Advancing dyslexia and dyscalculia - Online, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 May 202121 May 2021


ConferenceBritish Dyslexia Association International Conference 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences of emergency online learning during COVID-19 for university students recently diagnosed with dyslexia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this