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Academic confidence

and dyslexia at university

The Dx Profiler

Andrew Dykes B.Ed, M.A, M.Sc, FHEA

Revised October 2020

Dyslexia Index (Dx)
and the Dx Profiler


This research affirms dyslexia as a challenging learning difference to define not least as a consequence of the multi-dimensional nature of the syndrome, particularly notable in higher education contexts.

However, at university, many of the strengths associated with an apparently dyslexic profile may emerge as positive benefits. Quite often, earlier, typical, literacy-related challenges are ameliorated. This might be from carefully tailored academic intervention to encourage more effective study and learning strategies to develop. But sometimes unsupported self-recognition of learning weaknesses may lead to adaptations in learning routines and regimes that can empower a student to minimize the impacts of their study-related challenges. 

However, this research also affirms that dyslexia - in what ever ways it may be defined at university - may be best considered as an information processing difference, and that viewing this difference through a profile approach may be helpful. The project used values derived from a variety of markers - ranging from those more conventionally associated with dyslexia to others that gauged wider approaches to learning and studying - to be blended into a relative and comparative level of dyslexia-ness, which was shown to be valid across the range of both identified dyslexic students and their non-dyslexic peers.

From this, the idea of Dyslexia Index (Dx) was developed to account for the wide range of learning and study characteristics that have been shown to be present in both dyslexic and non-dyslexic students at university. Using the outcome of the Dx Profiler developed for this research, an individual's Dx value (their level of dyslexia-ness) could be located on a continuous, linear scale, declared as The Dyslexia-ness Continuum in this study.

Further research aims to develop these ideas, notably through the acquisition and analysis of further data so that stronger confidence of the validity and reliability of the Dyslexia Index can be presented. Additionally, to strengthen the inclusive nature of the metric and at the same time to attempt to neutralize stigmatisation effects associated with dyslexia per se, the scale may be renamed, possibly as the Learning Differences Index. 


The Dyslexia-ness Continuum - displaying data from this current study

(RG:ND = students with no declared dyslexia; RG:DI = students who declared their dyslexia)

The Dx Profiler

The Dx Profiler below is the 16-item scale that was used to gauge participants' levels of dyslexia-ness in this research study.

To use the Profiler, adjust the purple bar's endpoint to a position along the scale to signify your level of agreement with each item statement. Choose a position from 0%, to indicate that you completely disagree with the statement, to 100%, signifying complete agreement.

The statement gradings are aggregated to a weighted mean average value (defined here), termed the Dyslexia Index, revealed at the foot of the Profiler. If you want to reset the Profiler, refresh this webpage.

In this study, students with declared dyslexia presented an average (mean) level of dyslexia-ness of Dx = 670 across the range 326 < Dx < 960; with corresponding outcomes for their non-dyslexic peers of mean Dx = 430* across the range 32 < Dx < 888*. The complete analysis is here.

* Note: In this study, some participants in the non-dyslexic group presented levels of dyslexia-ness comparable to those of the dyslexic group, and hence were declared as quasi-dyslexic. When this small subgroup (n=19) is removed from the non-dyslexic group (n=98), the outcomes for the remainder subgroup of the non-dyslexic group generated a mean Dx = 365, across the range 32 < Dx < 593.

The Dx Profiler

Dx Profiler constructed in Calconic

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