Inspiration and Epilepsy: Helping with Memory Retention Issues

Thomas has used Inspiration since beginning his part-time Business Management degree with the Open University in 2017. Inspiration was recommended to Thomas as part of his DSA package, due to the side effects of his epilepsy medication causing difficulties with memory retention. Here Thomas tells us more about how he uses Inspiration to benefit his studies.

What were the challenges that you faced, which the Needs Assessor felt Inspiration would help you with?

"Well I've got epilepsy and the medication I have to take for that turns your memory into a sieve basically. So it was really just a way of being able to condense a large amount of information into a smaller format. It was easier to go back over work again to get the key points in."

In what context do you use Inspiration?

"With the Open University it's about 50% from textbooks. The rest of it is online material. Most of the online material has got some more interactive stuff built into it and some videos on there, as well.

I guess I use it for revision or for consolidating my learning. I use it to take notes as I'm going through the material and then obviously I've got that for revision as I work through, just to try and make sure that I'm able to remember things. It's much easier to go back through afterwards. I mainly use the Map View, it's my favourite one. I add in the pictures, some of the clip art icons, you can add in web links as well. Some of the notes I can then expand, if I want to put a little bit more detail in."

How do you think Inspiration has benefited you?

"I think it definitely helps you have more active engagement with the material, compared to just taking outline notes in something like OneNote, because you really have to summarise and pick out the key points. So, it's definitely an effective learning tool. I think you definitely feel more confidence because you know as you're going through the material that you are actually picking out the relevant key points, you're not just zoning out and going through it. In terms of the revision, I guess you can't ever really say whether it's had an effect on your attainment or not, but it's definitely been a great help when I've been revising for assessments."

How would you explain the benefits of Inspiration to someone with a similar barrier?

"I'd say that the benefits are being able to summarise things in a visual way that's easy to see, and that you can then save or print off and you can refer back to that again. And it's in a format that's much easier to digest than say, if you were going back through a textbook again and trying to pick out the relevant points. You've already picked them out and you can go straight to them."

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration, click here.

Inspiration is an approved product for the Disabled Student Allowance.