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End of term 1


Ethics application ticked off my list!


Non-Medical Helper support for deaf and hearing-impaired students: Interpreting and notetaking in higher education:


Hooray! It’s the end of the first term of my PhD at UCL Institute of Education and I’ve just completed my ethics application! This was a huge task: ethics application form, updated project proposal, information sheet, consent form and questionnaires for five participant groups. I’m so pleased to have this submitted before the Christmas holiday.


Overall, I think it’s been a jolly good term. Since beginning in October, I’ve had meetings with various stakeholders, read more and consequently made some adjustments to my project plan. If the ethics approval goes smoothly, I’m aiming to run the pilot study late January and the main data collection in April.


I’ve revised the project methodology by reducing the participant groups so I’ll be sending questionnaires to two participant groups: deaf & hearing-impaired students and those providing the interpreting support in the higher education classroom (Communication Support Workers and BSL / English Interpreters). I will then carry out classroom observations and gather evidence from case studies for a more in-depth analysis of the learner experience.  


Presenting at the Westminster briefing last month really helped me think through my project design. This and feedback from fellow students attending the What is a PhD? course at the IoE made me return to the reason why I’m doing this research and include case studies to get to the heart of the issues.


I have a lot more reading to do, with a draft of my literature review due in January but it’s really coming together. This study is much needed if we are to improve the communication support for deaf students studying at university.


But for now, I’m taking a break.


Happy holidays!