Bridging the awarding gap in the transitions of neurodivergent students moving from Access to Level 1 study

Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon (2023). Bridging the awarding gap in the transitions of neurodivergent students moving from Access to Level 1 study. In: Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility (EDIA) AL Professional Development (Online) Event – 17 May 2023, 17 May 2023, The Open University [Online].

Abstract

Bridging the awarding gap in the transitions of neurodiverse students moving from Access to Level 1 study - Dr Renu Bhandari and Dr Jon Rainford Although neurodiversity per se as a topic has been researched and evaluated by many studies (Corey,2010; Jacobs, 2010; Lindstrom, 2007; Clinton & Higbee, 2011; Hadley, 2007), the link between neurodiversity and awarding gaps is an area of study that requires some more focus and detail. Research, studies, and practitioners have over the years assumed that the understanding neurodiversity and placing some relevant interventions is sufficient for Neurodivergent students to succeed academically (Sansosti et.al, 2004; Gray, 1998; Kokina and Kenn, 2010).

HEIs have been using the term “Attainment gap” which puts the onus on the individuals in achieving the degrees. However, the use of the word “Awarding gap” put the responsibility on the HEIs. The awarding gap challenges the deficit model of neurodivergent students. It brings the responsibility back to the HEIs to support neurodivergent students in successful achievement of modules. It may be useful to explore what is missing in the students support from the perspective of Neuro divergent students so that this awarding gap can be successfully bridged.

This session offers a summary of our research into the transitions of neurodiverse students from Access to level 1 study. This project sought to generate a deep understanding of the experiences of neurodiverse students transitions from Access to level 1 study. Whilst it was initially focused upon student support, through this research numerous challenges these students face have been raised in relation to their transition from the access modules to level 1. The issues the participants raised focused in particular upon changing expectations, student support, finding their own way, and the complexity of discipline specific language.

This session was presented in Access and ACSST.

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