About the Project

Learning from students about
diversity in the experience of
engagement with learning

Inclusive education relies on understanding what effective engagement with learning means for each individual. However, we don’t yet have this understanding or even the right research tools to start building it.

This research project at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education is using a new self-report measure of engagement with learning activities. The new quick, easy, flexible and intuitive research tool will help transform our understanding of students’ experience of their learning activities and help support inclusive teaching and learning in universities, colleges and schools.

Understanding neurodiversity and engagement is at the heart of this project, with a particular focus on autistic students. We have been busy listening to the experiences of autistic students in universities across the UK and preparing for the next stage of the project.

Latest from the Project Blog

Ways of thinking

For this project, we are taking a neurodiversity approach in which the ways of thinking associated with autism are explored as part of a naturally varying broader population. This means that we’re interested in a range of differences in the ways that students experience and think about their learning as well as the types of learning environment and activity that suit them best.

What does it mean to be an autistic student?

It’s common for students to explore an autism diagnosis whilst at university. This can be as a result of experiencing difficulties and being referred to university support services. Student can also become aware at university that their style of thinking and learning may align with the characteristics of autism without experiencing particular difficulties – by having more flexibility to explore their own preferences and by meeting other autistic students.

Frameworks for connecting neuroscience to education

‘engagement’, RDoC, and barriers to inclusion Based on a presentation to the Cambridge Neuroscience Journal Club in January 2021 What does neuroscience tell us about the experience of autism? There is a wealth of research and findings from the field of autism neuroscience, indicating differences associated with autism in a wide range of aspects ofContinue reading “Frameworks for connecting neuroscience to education”