Ahead of Time and Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) Hub – new specialist support for dyslexia/dyspraxia/ADHD/dyscalculia

By Greg Jones. Specialist Study Skills Support Tutor, Team Leader. 

Ahead of Time (for students with SpLD):  

Ahead of Time is a video-based self-access module on Blackboard (Course Resources) with advice, tips and demonstrations from specialists and their students. It is open to all students who feel they could benefit from … 

  • … the learning journeys of students with profiles of Specific Learning Differences (SpLD). 
  • … use cases for the effective use of software (including premium DSA-funded packages). 
  • … SpLD-focused learning tips that are based on working with UoD students.  

SpLD Hub (weekly consultation event for staff as well as students) 

Consult a specialist in Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) to find out more about what is available to you, whether you are a learner (UG, PG, UDOL, Apprentice) or a staff member. What could you do differently to play to your strengths and remove barriers to learning?  

The SpLD Hub is open from 1pm to 4pm on Thursdays, starting 25/11/2021. You can join in-person at at the glass fronted room next to Subway in the Kedleston Road Atrium in the Kedleston Road Atrium or you can book a brief online consultation using this form if you are elsewhere. If you would like to know more before attending, please send a MS Teams chat message to Gregory Jones (Greg). 

Greg is the Team Leader of the UoD Specialist SpLD study skills team and has worked with learners from 5 to 75-years-old, helping them to do more of what works for them as unique individuals with profiles of SpLD. There is a particular emphasis on ‘letting the tech take the strain’. He has also supported schools and educators on how to make learning inclusive and efficient, particularly through effective use of IT tools. 

Student Wellbeing remains the main point of contact for students who require formal support, including Support Plans.    

The approach taken:

The online Ahead of Time (for students with SpLD) videos and the weekly in-person SpLD Hub aim to provide opportunities to develop efficient and independent study skills. Rather than focus on ‘deficits’, we aim to facilitate a process of identifying and exploiting the learners’ strengths. Meanwhile, where slow information processing is a barrier to achievement, the emphasis is on the effective use of IT-based tools – lower order tasks are often better handled systematically.    

What were the steps and processes that had to be put in place to implement this approach?

Ahead of Time and the SpLD Hub grew out of the pre-entry “Forward Thinking” annual events and an awareness and a previous project where specialist skills were shared with both staff and students as part of a collaborative approach to making learning better in SpLD.  

What can I tell my students? 

To try the Ahead of Time module or pop in and see Greg at the “goldfish bowl” next to Subway at KR on Thursdays, between 1pm and 4pm.