Returning to Education: Overcoming Dyslexia and Other Barriers as a Mature Student

"I don't think my grades would be as high as they are if it wasn't for Inspiration."

When Ria returned to university after 15 years to study Psychology part-time, Inspiration 10 was her go-to study tool. After being introduced to Inspiration years prior, she was confident it would help her. Now, as well as using it for assignments, planning and note-taking she also uses it in her day-to-day life: certain it has boosted her productivity and overall grades while studying remotely.


Why were you recommended Inspiration through DSA?

I struggled with dyslexia. I struggled with pain. When I first went back to studying, I hadn't studied for 10-15 years, so I didn't know how to take notes properly. So, the assessor said she thought Inspiration was something that would really help me. I struggle with handwriting as well, so having a computer programme that I can sit and type into is much easier than writing notes down.

Did you find Inspiration quite easy to learn how to use?

Yes, very easy. I can't even remember having any formal training. I just got the programme and started playing around with it. I found it really simple to use. Especially when I started using keyboard shortcuts! I was hovering over a symbol and I noticed it [a tooltip] come up underneath with Ctrl+R for Rapid Fire, and I thought that would be handy to learn. So, I went looking for more and the more I've used them, it’s just become second nature. Once you learn them, they're so easy to remember and use.


What sort of diagrams are you creating?

I tend to do small ones for my notes. I use the symbols, so for example, I’ll use a little computer symbol for the online notes and the little book symbol for the book notes. I've inserted little diagrams or tables that help me understand my notes, as well. When I'm doing my assignments, I take the notes and write my assignment plans in the same mind map, so it does tend to get quite big.

Are there any particular features that you frequently use or that you find useful?

The Rapid Fire tool and the Outline View are the main ones that I use. I normally start in the Diagram View and flick between there and the Outline View when I'm writing. I find when I'm writing my notes for assignments, I tend to write that in Outline, but when I'm doing normal notetaking, it tends to be in Diagram View. I love the flexibility to be able to switch between the two.


Example note-taking mind map:

Note-Taking Mind Map Example

Do you use Inspiration 10 outside of your studies?

Yes, I do. I use it to plan daily stuff and lately have been planning a holiday. So, any bits and bats that we need for the holiday, I put in Inspiration. And my son uses it to plan stuff for his role-playing games with his friends. So, it helps plan out things like that.

How do you find studying remotely?

I prefer it personally, because my health wouldn't allow me to go to a normal university and study, but having Inspiration helps me plan my time for my study. So, it makes it less complicated and takes me less time. Inspiration has just been such a big help in everything that I do when studying.

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration 11, click here, and for more user case studies, click here.

Inspiration is an approved product for the Disabled Student Allowance.