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Academic confidence and dyslexia at university

References & Appendices


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8.1  The Research Questionnaire

The project’s research questionnaire was only available electronically. The questionnaire was constructed as a web-based electronic form using Adobe Dreamweaver web-authoring software. Once complete and tested, the questionnaire was hosted on the project webpages where it remains available for inspection [At:]. Students who responded to the Invitations to Participate, either directly through the link e-mailed to them by the University’s Dyslexia and Disability Service, or from the publicity notice published on the University’s student-facing intranet, were taken to the opening page of the questionnaire suite of pages. Explaining briefly the context of the research, this opening page also provided access to the Participant Information Statement and the Participant Informed Consent Statement. Participants were required to acknowledge that they had viewed both of these documents in order to gain access to the research questionnaire.


I      Preliminary information


Research participant Information Statement

  • You are being invited to participate in a research study but before you decide to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. Take your time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Please contact the researcher or the researcher's supervisor if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.

  • If you decide to take part after reading this information sheet, you will next be asked to give your consent to the data that you provide being used in the research and following that you can access the research questionnaire.

  • The research questionnaire is asking about your attitudes towards your learning and your confidence in approaches to studying at university. Your answers will be providing valuable data for the research which is broadly exploring the relationships between academic agency amongst university students and how this is affected by learning differences such as dyslexia or other learning challenges.

  • All data that you provide is collected anonymously, you are not asked to identify yourself or provide any contact details and so everything that you report in the questionnaire cannot be attributed back to you as a named person at any time.

  • Participation in the research is entirely voluntary and if you decide to take part you can withdraw at any time without providing a reason. Even after you have completed the research questionnaire and sent it, you will still be able to anonymously request that the data you have provided should be removed and erased.

  • The research questionnaire comprises a number of question item statements which invite you to judge your level of concurrence (agreement) with them using a Likert-style responder. You should be able to complete the complete questionnaire in about 15-20 minutes. The data that it provides will form part of the analysis to inform the discussion section of the research study, which will conclude with a thesis to be submitted as part of this PhD research project and published on these webpages.

  • The ways in which the data will be used together with your rights as a participant are explained in the Research Participant Informed Consent Statement which follows this information sheet.

  • The data collection process of this research project has been approved by Middlesex University Education Department Ethics Sub-committee (July 2015) with documentation available for inspection here {a link was provided to the relevant documentation].



Participant informed consent statement

Participant Informed Consent Statement - by moving forward from this page to the questionnaire, it will be assumed that you have agreed to participate in the research and that:

  • you have understood that the answers you provide in the questionnaire and the data that is generated will be completely anonymously received by the researcher and not identifiable directly to you;

  • you have understood that you have the right to withdraw from participation in the project at any time without any obligation to explain your reasons for doing so;

  • you have understood that you can request the researcher to remove and erase any data that your questionnaire reply generates provided your request to do so is received by the researcher before the formal data analysis process begins in January 2016. (Details about how to request removal of data are provided after the questionnaire has been submitted);

  • you have understood that the data that your questionnaire reply generates will be used as part of the process of data analysis and will form part of the publication of the research project outcomes, and that as a result of the anonymity of your data as received by the researcher, nothing in any publication can be attributed to your contribution.


II     The Research Questionnaire

The Research Questionnaire remains fully operational and is available on the project webpages at:

Screenshot representations of the five sections are provided below, followed by some explanatory notes.


Questionnaire Notes

  • A representation of the input-range slider controls is shown. By moving the control to the left or the right of the default, central position, which represented 50%, a number value was recorded between 0 and 100%.

  • The sections of the questionnaire were not labelled 1,2, etc because each section was revealed in turn with other sections remaining hidden, achieved using controls on the webpage.

  • The Psychometric Scale (Section 3, above) comprised 6 sub-scales of 6 items each which were attempting to gauge respectively:

    • Learning related emotions

    • Anxiety regulation and Motivation

    • Academic Self-efficacy

    • Self-esteem

    • Learned helplessness

    • Academic Procrastination


In the event, data collected from this scale was not used in the Results and Analysis (section 4) and hence not referred to in the Discussion (Section 5). The reasons for this are presented in sub-section 3.2(II). This data will not be discarded as it is planned to return to at a later date for inclusion in a subsequent report.

  • Participants submitted their questionnaire using a control on the webpage which converted the data into tabular form that was automatically sent through e-mail. Simultaneously, the questionnaire was displaced by an Acknowledgement of its receipt which included a thank you for participating together with an unique, Questionnaire Respondent Indicator (QRI). This 8-figure number was randomly generated by a short script on the questionnaire webpage, was included as part of the questionnaire data submitted, and was devised to enable any participant who wanted to withdraw their data after submitting it to do so. This would have been achieved by following a link on the Acknowledgement page to the Participant Revocation Form, where the QRI could be inserted into a form field. On submitting this form, a further e-mail would be generated and sent, enabling that specific dataset to be removed from the datapool. In the event, no participants followed this process.


8.2  Ethics approval documentation


Ethics application and approval documents are not reproduced here but are available on the project webpages, where a request to view them can be submitted.

Ethics application and approval documents available:

  1. Middlesex University Research Ethics Review Form A;

  2. Middlesex University Ethics Sub-Committee Request for Research Clarification;

  3. Response to Request for Research Clarification;

  4. Middlesex University Form ED17 Ethics Approval;

  5. Middlesex University Independent Field/Location Work Risk Assessment Form FRA1.

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