LON11/01/18 Rocket Science or Basic Life Skills? – Developing Metacognition and Critical Analysis Skills for HE Students with SpLDs

Date: 11/01/2018

Location: Ambassadors, Bloomsbury London

Price (per person): Members £155, Non-members £185

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LON11/01/18 Rocket Science or Basic Life Skills? – Developing Metacognition and Critical Analysis Skills for HE Students with SpLDs

Location: London

Presenter: Rachel Simpson

Booking Ref: LON11/01/18

Day of Week: Thursday

Course Times: 10.00am to 4.15pm (registration from 9.30am)

Link to Venue: Ambassadors Hotel, Bloomsbury

Target Audience: Educators working in Higher Education Supporting Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties

Pre-requisites: Need to be providing support for students in Higher Education with a Specific Learning Difference

Higher Education seeks to develop metacognition and critical thinking in learners. These skills appear complex but can be developed through fairly simple, structured activities. This course will show you how to maximize your students potential

Aims: To provide educators working in higher education with a broad range of structured activities and strategies they can use to help students develop metacognition and critical analysis skills for use in lectures, reading, writing. The emphasis will be on making metacognition and critical analysis easier to understand and apply, and on revealing how these skills can make studying more efficient and enhance learning.


  • To demonstrate how metacognition and critical analysis can be demystified using activities which draw attention to the fact that they are general skills used on a daily basis in everyday life.
  • To provide a portfolio of resources which take students in a structured way from recognition of metacognition and critical analysis skills used in daily life, to the application of such skills to every aspect of their studies.
  • To consider ways in which metacognition and critical analysis can improve efficiency as well as enhancing learning.
  • To share experience of using and evaluating some of those resources
  • To share information about strategies and resources used by the delegates in their own practice.

Course Details: The course will begin by examining the way in which metacognition and critical analysis are used on an everyday basis to help us learn from experience and make decisions. It will then explore how those daily skills can be adapted and extended in a structured and meaningful way to make studying more efficient. Particular areas of focus will be how metacognition and critical analysis can help with reading, listening and developing/presenting persuasive arguments. Throughout the day discussion will be based on practical, structured resources and delegates will have the opportunity to trial and evaluate those resources in relation to case studies. They will also have the opportunity to share experience from their own practice.


Rachel Simpson

Rachel is part of the Oxford SpLD Tutor Group and has worked for the past 8 years at Oxford Brookes University, initially as an In-house Specialist Dyslexia SpLD Tutor and then as a freelance Tutor and Assessor. This experience has given her a useful insight into some of the difficulties of being an independent tutor, whilst also benefiting from the advantages of being part of a highly experienced and supportive team. She has written a chapter on “How to Make the Most of Your Lectures”, and contributed to a chapter on “Reading Strategies”, for the 3rd Edition of Study Skills for Students with Dyslexia: Support for Specific Learning Differences (SpLDS) edited by Sandra Hargreaves and Jamie Crabb.

Prior to becoming a Specialist Dyslexia/SpLD Tutor Rachel had taught History (GCSE, A Level and Access), Basic Literacy and Numeracy, and English as a Foreign Language in FE Colleges and Basic Skills centres in the UK and Cyprus, and in Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education.  More recently she also taught the PG Diploma in Assessment of SpLDs at London Metropolitan University from 2011-2016, with responsibility for updating the course design to meet changing assessment requirements.