evaluation of an online support program for autistic students in higher education

In the transition to higher education, autistic students often experience challenges in adapting to new situations and expectations, in processing information, in establishing social contacts, in organizing themselves and in revealing information about their autism. Roadmap is an online, interactive and customizable support tool for autistic students in higher education. Roadmap provides easy access to reminders, notes, and customizable signposts with coping strategies on topics related to their studies and life. Roadmap can be used on its own or as a tool in a student counselling program.

What? Online interactive support program on studying and living with the possibility to integrate the program in face-to-face support

For whom? Autistic students in higher education

Why? By offering customizable information online, Roadmap aims to help students to participate in higher education and daily student life with greater confidence and higher quality of life

What is the research about?

How is Roadmap used and by whom?
Through the analysis of the user data that is automatically collected via the Roadmap website, we can determine which parts of Roadmap are used the most/least. It is also relevant to look at how often and at what times students use Roadmap. Through an online survey (among students who give permission to participate in research), we can also link these user data to student data. In this way we will gain more insight into the profiles of students who continue to use Roadmap or quickly drop out. Focus groups with student counsellors can provide us with information on how to motivate students to continue using Roadmap.

What is the impact of Roadmap on autistic students?
Through an online survey and interviews with students, we will investigate the effect of Roadmap on their participation in higher education, quality of life, self-esteem, depression symptoms and coping skills. We also ask about which aspects students and their counsellors are (dis)satisfied with.

Why does Roadmap work?
We want to gain more insight into the effective components of Roadmap. Which components contribute to the effect? To answer this question, we will interview students and organize focus groups with their counsellors.

In collaboration with

Steunpunt Inclusief Hoger Onderwijs
Valérie Van Hees en Lisa Herman

Contact person ACCA
Sara Van der Paelt