DAS Research

IDA Conference 2023

Executive functioning, study skills, and dyslexia - Examining the effectiveness of an online programme for upper secondary and post-secondary students

Serena Tan Abdullah & Dr Geetha Shantha Ram

Dyslexia is a life-long learning difference (Ramus et al., 2003). Hence, there is need for specialist support even as individuals at risk or diagnosed with dyslexia transit into post-secondary education or tertiary education (Dobson Waters & Torgerson, 2021; MacCullagh et al., 2017; Mortimore & Crozier, 2006; Olofsson et al., 2015; Pino & Mortari, 2014). Certainly, with the acquisition and competence in essential study skills and techniques, these students may become self- directed, independent and responsible learners, which are invaluable traits and characteristics for any tertiary learner. More importantly, these skills provide a strong foundation for them to be able to reach their goals and aspirations not only in school but also in their future workplace.


The English Language and Literacy Division (ELL) at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) developed the iStudySmartTM programme, a two-term online learning programme, which aims to empower tertiary students with learning differences in the areas of time management and prioritisation, planning and organisation, tertiary writing and presentation skills while using an explicit, systematic, cumulative, teacher-directed instruction. The online learning approach also allowed more educational technology to be incorporated into the lessons making it multisensory and multimodal. Adaptation and differentiated instruction were also incorporated into the sessions to accommodate individual differences in cognitive, linguistic, sociocultural, and behavioural aspects.