Learning differences case studies


ENGL 307

Film and Literature, a course designed by senior lecturer Kamilla Elliot, presents students with alternative modes of assessment and learning in comparison to more traditional courses. One of the major components of this course is a creative project which accounts for 30% of the overall marks. Originally designed to show students that adapting text faithfully is not as easy as it may appear, the project “took on a life of its own: student creativity far exceeded my expectations and I began to see that creative engagements with texts and films opened up avenues for interpretation and criticism that were not available with an essay structure,” said Elliot. By incorporating a multiple choice exam and a take home essay in the summer term Elliot believes that the close reading that would be “impossible” in an exam setting can be achieved as well as ensuring that the students “engage with the course materials in a variety of ways”. Film clips included as part of the lectures are designed to provide variation.


“[Half way through] my first year of university […] it was picked up on that I was dyslexic,” the student told SCAN. “However, it took ages to get diagnosed properly, meaning there was a delay in support.”

Now in her third year, she is generally happy with the support she receives, but is still struggling to access the extra tuition she needs despite repeatedly trying to contact the relevant parties.

She also feels frustration at a lack of understanding of her condition, particularly on the part of fellow students. Slow processing speeds mean she is often unable to complete all of her weekly readings, which disadvantages her when it comes to working in a group. Also, she says, “sometimes people in the group get frustrated at my grammar, spelling or writing as sometimes it just doesn’t make sense as I miss out words.“Many people don’t understand what dyslexia is,” she continued. “People need to be aware that it affects people differently and there are many forms of it.”

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