Saturday, 2 August 2008

Tutor-facing pro-forma perfect

The very first TASH pot of gold to the very first completer of a draft tutor-facing web page guide goes to Harriet Cameron of the Dyslexia Support Service who was our fourth and final discussant for the day. We met at the ELTC, and were delighted to take delivery of a draft which did exactly what we were hoping for, so many thanks to Harriet for that. We also had a very useful discussion about ways of signposting students through and beyond particular resources, and the possibility of Harriet sharing her experience with us at the design stage too. As some of you will already know, Harriet is now leading on the final phase of the online Dyslexia resources first developed by Lizzie Pine and taken forward by Frances Brindley and others, and which we were very happy to promote at the July 17 TASH meeting. Harriet has also offered:
  • to complete a second tutor-facing guide outlining how one-to-one dyslexia tutorial support can help individual students' academic skills development, and how this kind of support differs from online aspects of the service;
  • to liaise on our behalf with Claire Shanks, Sarah Armour and others in the Disability Support Team regarding the writing of one or more similar guides to the more general resources Claire's team can offer.
In addition to coming up with some tangible goods so quickly, Harriet's energy and enthusiasm for the project, as well as her coffee and vegetarian tea, was extremely welcome at the end of a day of meetings, and we look forward to working closely with her as the project progresses further.

Just one final thought on the ELTC. I have little doubt that the department will have certain reservations about their building, and particularly perhaps the rather foreboding entry by impersonal grey-box intercom which has to be negotiated to gain access, but they don't half make the most of what they've got. The atmosphere in the reception area - however cramped - is always extremely welcoming; and you will invariably find students and tutors engaged in genuine and lively conversation. This quiet but careful attention to getting the tone right is carried through all of the offices and rooms I've been in - including the Gents' toilets - where the specific needs of international students have clearly been considered wherever possible. Thinking more generally about the design of the TASH resource itself, the Inclusive Learning and Teaching project, as well as the aspiration to improve accessibility and the quality of the student experience for all, I think the organised chaos that is ELTC's reception should be a model of best practice for us all - and something TASH can hope to emulate online and, in time, in a (hopefully slightly less crammed) physical space in Jessop's Edwardian Wing or elsewhere!


Steve Wise said...

could I have a copy of the dyslexia tutor guide please? I've used part of the dyslexia material in my english language skills page, so I could use the relevant bit of the guide with staff.

Willy Kitchen said...

We'll let you have a sneak preview once we have the finalised electronic draft to send on (only have a hard copy at present). We intend to circulate this and another completed example (for the Compass resource) by the middle of the month to help others along the way with writing their templates.