Exploring inclusive assessment practices through the eyes of neurodivergent students

This study, funded by the UWE Bristol Pedagogical Project fund, aims to amplify the voices of neurodivergent students in relation to lived experiences of Higher Education assessment practices which were perceived as enablers or barriers to their success. The research team included neurodivergent researchers and allies and 18 neurodivergent student participants across all colleges at UWE Bristol.

Through the use of a participatory approach, the study aimed to reduce traditional power dynamics between the researcher and research participants. The project arose in response to the persistent institutional attainment gap between disabled students and their peers, which is particularly significant for students with neurodivergent profiles. The central aim was to make visible the enablers and barriers within assessment practices which support neurodivergent students in evidencing their understanding of their chosen programme of study. Findings are relevant to institutions concerned with widening participation and inclusivity in Higher Education.

Project team

The project is led by Dr Sarah Chicken (School of Education and Childhood) and includes the Science Communication Unit’s Dr Laura Hobbs (School of Applied Sciences) and Dr Laura Fogg- Rogers (School of Engineering) alongside Tracy Hunt-Fraisse (Bristol Business School) and Dr Debbie Lewis (School of Applied Sciences).

More information can be found in the 2023 project report: Amplifying the voices of neurodivergent students in relation to higher education assessment at UWE Bristol.

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