Day 1 Abstracts

Concurrent Session 1.1

Embedding resources into digital assessment rubrics: bringing ALL support directly to students at Flinders University

Grace Chipperfield, Lauren Butterworth & Pablo Mungia

This paper reports on the impact of embedding Academic Language and Learning (ALL) resources directly into assessment rubrics. Students are increasingly entering university via diverse pathways and with diverse levels of academic preparedness (Beatty et al., 2014; Goldingay et al., 2014). With many academics believing their role is to teach ‘content’ rather than academic skill development, responsibility for the development of academic literacies needed by students over the course of their degrees falls on the student or ALL units (Gunn et al., 2011; Huijser et al., 2008; Star & Hammer, 2008). As such, embedding academic resources and literacies into topics has become a common practice among ALL units, resulting in improvements in student learning (Hebdon, 2015; Maldoni, 2018). While various embedding models have been adopted in universities (Black & Rechter, 2013; De Maio & Desierto, 2016; Maldoni, 2017; Maldoni & Lear, 2016), few, if any, focus on direct embedding of ALL resources into assessment rubrics. At Flinders University, we are piloting this approach as a strategy to reach all learners and support student success. As of May 2021, we have embedded into assessments for 10 topics across the university, collecting data and feedback on student usage. This ongoing and expanding project studies the impact of the embedded rubrics and the implications for student success and retention, while mapping the landscape of academic learning and the skills required across disciplines and topics at Flinders. The findings should offer possibilities for adoption and further research across higher education institutions and ALL units.


Dr Grace Chipperfield is a Fulbright Scholar and Associate Lecturer and Student Learning Advisor with Student Learning Support Services at Flinders University, South Australia.

Dr Lauren Butterworth is an Associate Lecturer and Student Learning Advisor in Flinders University’s Student Learning Support Service. She has previously taught in English and Creative Writing, and worked in publishing, editing, and new media production.

Associate Professor Pablo Munguia is a marine biology academic and the Associate Director, Student Learning Support Service, at Flinders University. He has published extensively in the research fields of ecology and evolution of marine organisms and learning analytics.

Works cited

Beatty, S. E., Collins, A., & Buckingham, M. A. (2014). Embedding academic socialisation within a language support program: An Australian case study.

Black, M., & Rechter, S. (2013). A critical reflection on the use of an embedded academic literacy program for teaching sociology. Journal of sociology (Melbourne, Vic.), 49(4), 456-470.

De Maio, C., & Desierto, A. (2016). First year Business students’ perceptions of academic support through embedding. A Practice Report. Student Success, 7(1), 57-63.

Goldingay, S., Hitch, D., Ryan, J., Farrugia, D., Hosken, N., Nihill, C., & Macfarlane, S. (2014). “The university didn’t actually tell us this is what you have to do”: Social inclusion through embedding of academic skills in first year professional courses. The International Journal of The First Year in Higher Education, 5(1), 43.

Gunn, C., Hearne, S., & Sibthorpe, J. (2011). Right from the start: A rationale for embedding academic literacy skills in university courses. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 8(1), 6.

Hebdon, S. (2015). Embedding support for students transitioning into higher education: Evaluation of a new model. The international journal of training research, 13(2), 119-131.

Huijser, H., Kimmins, L., & Galligan, L. (2008). Evaluating individual teaching on the road to embedding academic skills. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 2(1), A23-A38.

Maldoni, A. M. (2017). A cross-disciplinary approach to embedding: A pedagogy for developing academic literacies. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 11(1), A104-A124.

Maldoni, A. M. (2018). “Degrees of deception” to degrees of proficiency: Embedding academic literacies into the disciplines. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12(2), A102A129.

Maldoni, A. M., & Lear, E. L. (2016). A decade of embedding: Where are we now? Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 13(3), 2.

Star, C., & Hammer, S. (2008). Teaching generic skills: Eroding the higher purpose of universities, or an opportunity for renewal? Oxford Review of Education, 34(2), 237-251.

The use of assessment rubrics for individualised ALL support

May Kocatepe

As ALL specialists, we support students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and academic disciplines, with varying levels of interest and motivation and with diverse learning styles. Students needs and the support strategies they require to meet their needs are also diverse.

In this paper I share my experience of using assessment rubrics for the formative assessment of writing within a Pathways ALL support program. I examine the use of rubrics from a Vygotskian concept of mediation where the rubric mediates the interaction between the ALL provider and the student and becomes an enabler of learning. Assessment rubrics support the learner in recognising areas in their writing in need of improvement and support the ALL specialist in identifying and providing targeted support. When used in this way, rubrics allow for individualised instructional intervention that helps to meet the diverse needs of students.

In this paper I share examples of the ways I have modified rubrics by drawing on the work of Matthew Poehner in the field of Dynamic Assessment. The rubrics I have used highlight three areas of students’ writing experiences: the potential difficulties the student is having, the abilities and practices the student has already developed and the abilities and practices that are developing. Rubrics used in this way present opportunities for ALL specialists to document both the product of student writing and the processes involved. In the presentation I discuss the ways the use of such rubrics can facilitate effective ALL support.


I hold a PhD in TESOL from James Cook University and have been teaching academic literacies and related subjects in higher education institutions in Australia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates for the past two decades. Currently, I work at Macquarie University International College in Sydney where I am Academic Language and Literacy Coordinator and Academic Communication teacher. I am passionate about researching how learning occurs beyond the classroom and have published and presented on learner autonomy, information literacy and motivation.

Concurrent Session 1.2

Academic writing of undergraduate students in Indonesia: A quantitative, double blind comparison of the SFL approach and multisensory load reduction strategies

Lala Bumela Sudimantara, Ania Lian & Andrew Lian

A quasi-experimental study was designed to compare the effects of a multi-sensory learning model, developed for students to approach writing utilising various sensory modalities, with the well-established genre approach that utilises Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar to teaching academic writing. The study took place in an Indonesian university. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. A double-blind rating procedure was applied. This is the first study that applied double-blind rating to the genre approach and its alternative. Control and experimental groups were created, 122 students took part in the study. Experimental group included students that the university classified as low-performing and indeed the scores of the control group on pre-test were significantly better.  The results showed that the multi-sensory model used with the experimental group significantly improved academic writing performance. There was a substantial amount of progress in the experimental group’s performance. It caught up the initial difference in scores on pre-test and accelerated past the control group. Further, the relatively small standard deviation in both pre-test and post-test remained constant, indicating that the group improved as a whole, while 54.41% of the control group obtained either lower or equal scores to those obtained in the pre-test. Implication of the study for research and teacher education are presented and discussed.


Lala Bumela Sudimantara is a PhD Candidate at College of Education.  He is also a lecturer of English at the IAIN Syekh Nurjati University, Cirebon.

Dr. Ania Lian is a Senior lecturer at CDU and specialises in second/foreign language and literacy education.

Professor Andrew Lian, Professor Emeritus, University of Canberra, has extensive expertise in second/foreign language learning, with the focus on corrective phonetics, especially in French and English.

Writing with conviction: Possible affordances of the ‘academic detective’ metaphor in ALL advising

Mark Eggins & Scott Doidge

Metaphors can connect what is known to less familiar material including new or more complex processes and concepts. Thus, they can act as a scaffold, making content and skills more visible and concrete (Wegner & Nückles, 2015) by building on previously held knowledge in a constructivist paradigm. They can also be discarded when mastery is achieved. But what about a metaphor that could be continually used by students to personify themselves as lifelong learners? This paper builds on Power, Carmichael and Goldsmith’s (2007) research on metaphor in academic skills learning by arguing that one such metaphor could be the ‘academic detective’ (Germov, 1996). This could be used to inculcate important attributes such as autonomy, critical thinking, curiosity, objectivity, and resilience.

Specifically, this paper explores how this metaphor could be used in academic skills advising not only for content and pedagogy but also to assist learners’ academic identity and agency. The metaphor may be especially pertinent in written assessments as the challenge for the detective is somewhat similar for students – what can they do “when faced with a cacophony of facts and choices that concern [their] wellbeing as well as what [they are] investigating”? (Howard, 2010, p. 1). There will be a particular focus on how linguistically and culturally diverse practices could be fostered thereby providing potentially more equitable learning affordances. The metaphor indeed could have broad currency and acceptance with a diverse range of students given that the crime drama has become a television staple worldwide.


Mark Eggins, Australian Catholic University

Mark has worked as an Academic Skills Advisor at the University of Melbourne and currently at the Australian Catholic University.  Previously he has worked in ESL in Melbourne and Japan.  He holds a Masters in TESOL.

Dr Scott Doidge, Australian Catholic University

Scott is currently working at Australian Catholic University primarily as an Academic Skills Advisor however he has also worked as a tutor in the Core Curriculum program.  He holds a PhD in Sociology and is the author of the book The Anxiety of Ascent: Middle-Class Narratives in Germany and America.

Concurrent Session 1.3

Active online learning – opportunities for supporting EAL students in the post COVID environment

Corinna Ridley & Nara Tsedendamba

It is widely recognised that universities are now delivering education to a more diverse student population with various study needs and career goals (Kift & Nelson, 2005). This includes a broad range of EAL students, including international students who may be studying in Australia or overseas, as well as migrants from refugee and other backgrounds with sometimes limited formal prior study of English. The range of student needs resulting from this diversity is challenging for academic support teams, who need to support students to develop the English language proficiency required for successful completion of their degrees (Sawir, 2005; Wingate, 2019) and subsequent employment (Nguyen & Hartz, 2020). While options for assisting these students have often been limited in the past by resourcing constraints to on campus workshops and online self-paced materials (e.g. Maldoni, 2017), recent developments in active online learning (The University of Melbourne, 2020) offer opportunities to provide English language development programs that are flexible and responsive to the needs of a broad range of students.

This paper will explore how learnings from the success of online models used in response to the COVID19 pandemic and subsequent move to blended learning are informing new models of academic support for EAL students. Deakin’s CloudFirst approach (Deakin, n.d.) to active online learning along with Content and Language Integrated Learning pedagogy (Coyle, 2007) and the 4C conceptual framework that focuses on the interrelationship between content, communication, cognition, and culture (Coyle 1999) have informed the redesign of the EAL support program at Deakin.  The capacity of the new model to meet the needs of diverse EAL students will be discussed, including how the active online principles employed support different ways of engaging and working with the materials and sessions offered.



Coyle, D. (1999) Theory and planning for effective classrooms: Supporting students in content and language integrated learning contexts. In J. Masih (ed.) Learning Through a Foreign Language. London: CILT

Coyle, D. (2007). Content and language integrated learning: Towards a connected research agenda for CLIL pedagogies, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10(5), 543-562. doi: 10.2167/beb459.0

Deakin. (n.d.). What is CloudFirst?

Kift, S.M., & Nelson, K.J. (2005, July 3-6). Beyond curriculum reform: Embedding the transition experience [Paper presentation]. 28th HERDSA Annual Conference, Sydney Australia.

Maldoni, A. M. (2017). A cross-disciplinary approach to embedding: A pedagogy for developing academic literacies. Journal of Academic Language & Learning, 11(1). A104-A124.

Nguyen, T.,  & Hartz, D. (2020). International students in Australia, employability and cultural competence. In J. Frawley, G. Russell, & J, Sherwood (Eds.), Cultural competence and the higher education sector (pp. 331-348). Springer.

Sawir, E. (2005). Language difficulties of international students in Australia: The effects of prior learning experience. International Education Journal, 6(5), 567–580.

The University of Melbourne. (2020, 24-25 November). Teaching and Learning Summit.

Wingate., U. (2019). Achieving transformation through collaboration: The role of academic literacies, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. 15, 1-9.

ALL practitioners’ experiences in digital spaces during COVID: Continuing the conversation

Anna Podorova, Michael Kilmister, Logandran bala Vijendran, Richard Hewisan, Sarah Irvine, Alejandra Speziali, Maggie McAlinden & Amanda Janssen

Across the globe, 2020 brought an enormous disruption to the way our world works. The higher education sector was not an exception. This paper contributes to a growing body of literature on the impact of COVID-19 on tertiary teaching and learning, reporting on an empirical study of academic language and learning (ALL) practitioners’ digital teaching practices before and during 2020. The authors of this paper—members of a working group established in 2018 by the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL)—surveyed AALL members’ digital practices before the pandemic (Podorova et al., 2019a; 2019b). Building on this earlier work, this presentation reveals how the use and perceptions of technology have been affected by COVID-19. The latest iteration of our research also broadens the scope beyond Australia. In December 2020, we collected 71 responses from a survey distributed to the members of the International Consortium of Academic Language and Learning Developers (ICALLD) community. The results show several interesting trends in the ALL practitioners’ use of technology, perceptions of current digital capacities and ongoing professional development needs related to teaching and learning during the pandemic. The findings can provide practical directions for the continuous building of digital capacity in the global ALL community.


Monash University, Australia

Anna Podorova works in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. She has extensive language teaching experience in various Australian and overseas contexts. Her research focuses on teaching English as an international language, the LANTITE, post-entry English language proficiency development and digital practices in tertiary settings.

University of Newcastle, Australia

Michael Kilmister is a Learning Designer and Historian at the University of Newcastle with more than a decade experience teaching in higher education. He has published about teaching national histories critically and on topics pertinent to academic language and literacy support. He has been an AALL member since 2016.

Instructure, Australia

Logandran Bala Vijendran is a Customer Success Manager with Instructure, where he supports organisations get the most out of the Canvas Learning Management System. His background includes teaching, learning design and academic support in universities across three countries, including 2 years in Academic Skills at the University of Melbourne.

Edith Cowan College (Navitas), Australia

Richard Hewison is a senior lecturer at Edith Cowan College (Navitas) with over 25 years experience teaching in higher education. His research focuses on factors affecting university student performance, and the potential impact on academic & learning support. He has been an AALL member and  contributor at AALL events since 2010.

University of Southern Queensland

Sarah Irvine has several years’ experience working as a learning advisor and has been in her current role at USQ since June 2020. Sarah is passionate about both academic language and learning as well as digital literacy and learning in higher education and is an active member of the AALL Digital Literacy Working Group.

Edith Cowan University

Alejandra Speziali is a Senior Learning Adviser at Edith Cowan University. She has worked in Higher Education since 1995 both as an academic staff member, teaching Academic writing in the disciplines, and as a Learning Adviser, supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff. Her areas of interest are Linguistics and Online Education.

Maggie is the TESOL Program Leader at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia where she teaches language teaching theory and practice, supervises doctoral students, and conducts research into language teaching. She is the former AALL National President and WA State Representative and founder of the AALL Digital Learning Working Group.

University of South Australia

Amanda Janssen is an Academic Developer at the University of South Australia. She has extensive experience in working in the Higher Education as both academic language and learning lecturer, program lead and curriculum developer. Amanda’s research interests are assessment design,  academic integrity and Online Learning and Teaching.

Panel Session 2.1

Engaging a diversity of learners online, face-to-face and hybrid: potential framework and practice

Tamarzon Larner, Susan Gollagher, Nicolas McLean & Thuy Dinh

This presentation will discuss a potential conceptual framework that centres on engaging linguistically and culturally diverse students with the language and learning activities across a range of platforms including online, face-to-face and hybrid at Charles Darwin University. It also provides specific examples of programs and initiatives that reflect the framework and are aligned with the university strategic plan.

The panellists will start with explaining the framework that is drawn on three main pillars of Engaging learners pedagogy, English as an international language (EIL) and intercultural competence and discuss its relevance to the Northern Territory and university contexts,  the institutional plan and the language and learning strategies. We will then provide several examples of our language and learning activities that are targeted at VET and HE students and analyse the implications of the framework for the design and delivery as well as data analytics of the effectiveness of those activities.

The presentation attempts to put forth that recent innovative frameworks in Applied Linguistics and education, in-depth analysis of the global and local contexts and institutional strategic plans provide a significant input and guide for developing, assessing and reflecting on language and learning activities.


Tamarzon Larner – I have worked in the field of education for nearly 30 years as teacher/ teacher trainer and manager. I have been very lucky to work in many different contexts and many different countries although for the last 12 years or so in Australia, Darwin to be precise. I have been on campus at CDU as both part of Navitas, the English language pathway provider and, currently, as the manager of the Language and Learning Support team, based in the library. We provide a suite of support services to HE/ VET and HDR students, here at CDU.

Susan Gollagher – As an academic language and literacy educator with 30 years’ experience, I have collaborated with academics from a range of disciplines to develop, manage and facilitate academic communication programs. I have a particular interest in developing the writing skills of research students and have co-written an 8 module online writing course and delivered programs for EAL researchers at UQ, CSIRO and on secondment in Indonesian universities. My belief is that academics, as discipline insiders, are best placed to develop their students’ academic communication skills. I have assisted them to do this by delivering professional development programs for teaching academics in Australia and on secondment in Japan and Taiwan.

Nicolas McLean – I currently work in the Language and Learning team at CDU’s Casuarina Campus where I provide academic and study skills support to Higher Ed and VET students. I have over twenty years’ experience teaching on EAL Foundation Skills programs in tertiary and adult education settings across Melbourne and the Northern Territory. My particular interest is in improving the experiences of students with non-English speaking backgrounds who are transitioning from foundation English programs into entry-level VET courses.

Thuy Dinh – I am currently a language and learning advisor at Charles Darwin University. I have 15 years of experience in lecturing, researching and delivering both professional development and learning skills programs at Monash University, Monash College and overseas. My passion is supporting students from pre-university to Higher Degree Research and developing innovative resources to improve teaching and learning experience. I am particularly interested in language and learning skills, intercultural education, curriculum analysis and academic writing.

Concurrent Session 2.2

The ANU Undergraduate Research Journal and the benefits of engaging undergraduates in research publication            

Benjamin Kooyman

Creating opportunities for undergraduates to publish their academic research is beneficial for numerous reasons. Most notably, it provides exposure to academic publishing culture and processes, and spurs students to refine their academic work to reach a wider audience (Mariani et al., 2013, pp. 830-31). Moreover, Walkington and Jenkins (2008, p. 2) note that “for the majority of undergraduate students, the research cycle is incomplete”; publishing their research thus presents an opportunity to close this loop, an opportunity commonplace for postgraduates but rare for undergraduates.

Whilst there is a burgeoning body of literature on undergraduate research publishing and its benefits (see, for example, Osborn & Karukstis, 2009) in the United States and elsewhere, much of this literature focuses on specific disciplinary contexts, and little research explores this enterprise in the Australian sector. Consequently, there is scope to explore the benefits of interdisciplinary undergraduate research publishing in an Australian university context and to chart its educational and professional ripple effects.

This paper presents the case study of the ANU Undergraduate Research Journal, a journal showcasing exemplary papers from the university’s undergraduate cohort. It outlines the publication process from call-for-papers through to publication, illustrates the various contributions made by ANU students—as editors, authors, shortlisters, peer reviewers—and shares insights and observations from contributors on their involvement in the journal and its productive ripple effects on both their subsequent academic output and post-Bachelor degree endeavours. Ultimately, this paper argues, creating and nurturing a culture of undergraduate research publishing benefits participants through bolstering confidence and self-efficacy, enhancing research and communicative literacies, and making academic publishing more attainable to students at the undergraduate level.


Mariani, M., Buckley, F., Reidy, T. & Witmer, R. (2013). Promoting student learning and scholarship through undergraduate research journals. Political Science & Politics, 46(4), 830-835,

Osborn, J. M. & Karukstis, K. K. (2009). The benefits of undergraduate research and creative activity. In M. K. Boyd & J. Wesemann (Eds.), Broadening participation in undergraduate research: Fostering excellence and enhancing the impact (pp. 41–53). Washington: Council on Undergraduate Research

Walkington, H. & Jenkins, A. (2008). Embedding undergraduate research publication in the student learning experience. Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching, 2(3),


Dr Benjamin Kooyman has worked in the field of academic language and learning advice for over a decade. He currently works at the Australian National University and was previously employed at the University of South Australia and the Australian College of Physical Education.

Benchmarking among HDR STEM Research Communication Advisors

Julie Holden & Sylvia Mackie

Research communication has emerged as a specific function in universities in recent decades and various support positions have been created in keeping with the rise of third-space specialist roles more generally. Our study focused on the work done by STEM Research Communication Advisors because not enough is known about the diverse kinds of work they do, or the diverse kinds of students they are responsible for. We found that these practitioners occupy a key place in STEM higher degree by research (HDR) student support. They design, teach and coordinate programs that take into account cultural and linguistic complexity to build communication self-efficacy among HDR students across the range of STEM research genres. The work of the advisors who responded to our survey encompasses a complex range of functions to support student success including teaching, academic development, developing resources, advising faculty, developing curriculum, English language support and PhD supervision/coaching. Most respondents conduct research, and they often work in collaboration with HDR supervisors.

Our findings also suggest a strong need for sharing and benchmarking practice among these STEM research communication specialists, especially in terms of doctoral curriculum and writing and language pedagogies. We raise critical questions about appropriate professional development, recognition and support for practitioners. Aside from being of use to STEM Research Communication Advisors, we think that this kind of exploration of professional expertise and focus could be of interest to other AALL practitioners who are being called on to define their own student advisory practice, standards and identities.


Julie Holden is a Research Communication and Academic Language Specialist at Monash University, working with IT HDR students.  Her interests include research communication pedagogies, academic language learning and doctoral education.

Sylvia Mackie is a Research Communication Advisor at Swinburne University of Technology. Her interests include researcher development in STEM disciplines.

Concurrent Session 2.3

Re-engineering an English Language Program towards an integrated multimodal curriculum

Kung-Keat Teoh, Lauren Butterworth, Grace Chipperfield & Ruby Sims

An English Language Program (ELP) was first established at Flinders University in 2015 to ensure students’ competency in the English language in accordance with the Australian Universities Quality Agency’s Good Practice Principles (2009). The ELP was delivered as an opt-in, non-credit bearing program via five distinct modules. The program was run face-to-face, with the online mode offered in 2020/2021 as a response to Covid-19. Initially, positive attendance and completion numbers were achieved; however, in recent years, attrition has been consistently high, prompting our Academic Language and Learning (ALL) unit to review the ELP to deliver an integrated, authentic, and hybrid program.

A review of the existing ELP identified the following contributors to high attrition: low extrinsic motivation due to lack of credit; high study loads during peak assessment periods; lack of contextual integration between ELP modules and topic content; and the changing nature of universities. As literature suggests, academic literacies are better acquired when integrated and contextualised within students’ specific disciplinary contexts (Edwards et al., 2021). In addition, as universities rapidly shift towards digitisation, blended and online teaching is emerging as a means to improve flexibility, equity, and access to digital learning tools (Martin, 2020). As a result, the curriculum redesign aims to integrate formerly discrete English language proficiencies into three scaffolded module levels, contextualise content using authentic and discipline-based learning activities and improve student accessibility and equity through multimodal delivery. This paper will reflect on the redesign process and lessons learned for similar ALL programs.


Australian Universities Quality Agency. (2009). Good practice principles for English language proficiency for international students in Australian universities. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Martin, L. (2020). Foundations for Good Practice: The Student Experience of Online Learning in Australian Higher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Australian Government Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Edwards, E., Goldsmith, R., Havery (formerly San Miguel), C., & James, N. (2021). An institution-wide strategy for ongoing, embedded academic language development: Design, implementation and analysis. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 15(1), 53-71.

Dr Kung-Keat Teoh is a senior student learning academic advisor in Flinders University’s Student Learning Support Service. He has coordinated the university’s academic orientation program since 2015. He has previously worked in e-learning, ecommerce, human computer interaction and augmented reality and published papers in areas of e-portfolio and development of multimedia resources.

Dr Lauren Butterworth is an Associate Learning Advisor (Teaching Specialist) in Flinders University’s Student Learning Support Service. She has previously taught in English and Creative Writing, and worked in publishing, editing, and new media production.

Dr Grace Chipperfield is a Fulbright Scholar and Associate Student Learning Advisor (Teaching Specialist) with Student Learning Support Services at Flinders University, South Australia.

Dr Ruby Sims is an Associate Learning Advisor (Teaching Specialist) in Flinders University’s Student Learning Support Service.

‘Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument’: how to run an online debate for students in the digital space

Tiana Blazevic-Bastow

Running classroom debates, especially online debates, can be daunting for educators, especially when those educators are HDR students with little to no formal training in teaching during a pandemic. However, with the right tools, online debates are a fun and transformative experience for online students and provides them with an interactive and engaging online classroom. The Enquiring Minds is a pre-requisite core course for all Humanities students at the University of Adelaide. In this course, ‘big idea’ concepts and problems that face our global community are studied. In both 2020 and 2021, I ran online classroom ran a debate. The topic centred on whether or not Australia should implement either a Universal Basic Income or a Jobs Guarantee as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This debate was run through the Zoom application for a class size of forty-five students in 2021. The use of breakout rooms in Zoom that were pre-assigned was critical for the debate to run smoothly and without interruption. Through using Zoom, google docs and sending out key contextual information before the debate, students felt a sense of engagement and interactivity in the classroom. This was verified through a google survey form that was sent after the debate had taken place. This paper will provide a step-by-step recommendation and study plan for online debates in the digital space for educators. This paper will also discuss the pedagogical importance of debates, why we still need them today and why it is important to argue in a constructive and critical manner while still maintaining a safe space for students.


Ms. Tiana Blazevic-Bastow is a PhD student at Macquarie University and a Learning Advisor at the Writing Centre at the University of Adelaide. She has an MPHIL in Ancient History which was recently awarded the Deans Commendation for Excellence in Research. Tiana’s recent publication in Springer’s Teaching History for the Contemporary World: Tensions, Challenges and Classroom Experiences in Higher Education argues that educators should embrace the tools of the digital world such as social media and online blogs for a better student experience.

Concurrent Session 3.1

The Legacy of the Learning Centre, University of Sydney, 1991-2021

Helen Drury

The Learning Centre was established with the primary aim of supporting all students in the acquisition, investigation, evaluation and communication of knowledge and ideas at university. While staff levels have remained largely the same, the Centre has had to meet the needs of a larger and increasingly diverse student population. At the same time, it has had to convince management of the importance and effectiveness of its research-based pedagogy.

From the beginning, the Centre’s programs have been based on the sound theoretical foundation of language in education. From this perspective, learning language, learning about language and learning through language are essential for learning and knowing (Halliday, 1993). Drawing on this theoretical approach within the tradition of systemic functional linguistics, the Centre has researched academic communication in discipline contexts and recontextualised this into a suite of learning and teaching programs. As research in language in education has grown, the Centre has also incorporated multimodal social semiotics and ethnographic approaches based on Academic Literacies into its pedagogy (Coffin and Donohue, 2012).

This presentation will highlight aspects of the Centre’s research and pedagogy over the last 30 years, in particular examples of teaching materials and approaches for addressing the typical genres of the university in general, embedded and individual programs; the development of a diagnostic instrument for students to understand the expectations of academic writing across disciplines (Bonanno and Jones, 2007) and the creation of discipline-based online learning programs (Drury and Mort, 2015).


Dr Helen Drury ( is an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work. She has taught and researched widely in academic language and learning and English for academic purposes. Her areas of interest are genre analysis and pedagogy, multimodal social semiotics and online learning in particular in the sciences and engineering.

Updating the Australian University Register of Academic Language and Learning Centres/Units

 Sally Ashton-Hay, Alex Barthel & Amanda Müller

The Australian University Register of Academic Language and Learning Centres/Units summarises the provision of Academic Language and Learning (ALL) services available across the Australian university sector. Information and data from 39 universities, government sources and ALL educators assisted production of the original AALL Register. This register was updated annually from 1993 to 2015, but it has not been updated since then. The aim of this AALL grant project was to update the Register in order to provide a current snapshot of ALL centres/units across Australian universities today. An online survey was used to ask how universities resource and support language and learning in the midst of the COVID pandemic and wide-ranging restructures. The findings compare and contrast recent changes as the presenters discuss the history of the Register, the AALL grant process, ethics and survey questions used to update the Australian University Register. The challenges encountered in navigating the current Australian university environment as well as current findings will be useful to inform policy makers, administrators and professional educators providing learning support in higher education. The Australian University Register will also be of interest to international associates who may wish to develop a similar register in their own country.


Dr Sally Ashton-Hay

AALL Vice President

Learning Experience Team, Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor

Southern Cross University

Mr Alex Barthel

AALL Senior Counsel and Founding President

AALL Assistant Treasurer

Dr Amanda Mȕller

Senior Lecturer, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Flinders University

Concurrent Session 3.2

Supporting diverse learners through cross-divisional teams and digital learning experiences

Laura Dickinson & Kat Cain

Student success at university relies on the ability to adapt to new ways of being and thinking, diverse learning modes and changing technologies.  Success is also predicated on students attaining academic and digital literacies required for successful completion of their studies (Nallaya et al. 2018). Supporting students to gain these literacies can be complex, particularly for diverse student cohorts as found in Early Years Education where students range from early school leavers, vocational pathways, mature-age or change of career, Indigenous and international.  The Deakin Early Years Education team grappled with this context and identified concerning trends occurring within the course, including minimal engagement with online learning resources, declining attendance, lowering success rates, transition difficulties and poor retention.  To meet the specific needs of these students, a pilot emerged with a key focus being the development of online modules to build academic and digital literacies.  The modules were developed by a cross-divisional team, including Language and Learning, Librarians, Course Enhancement and Academics.  This collaborative approach ensured required key literacies were identified and the modules aligned with assessment and incorporated authentic workplace practices. The multimodal modules were grounded in transition principles and digital pedagogies, focusing on interactive and contextualised learning. The modules were embedded within core units as part of the teaching and learning and also allowed for individual student engagement.  Evaluation and feedback from staff and students indicates measurable and positive impact. This paper will share how this pilot has supported this diverse group of students as they transition to university.


Nallaya S, Delaney L, Savelsberg, H and Lancione C (2018) ‘Developing a self-regulated curricula of scaffolded academic and information literacies in a digital learning environment’, Special Issue: Proceedings of the 13th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning, 12 (1): A179-A192, accessed 1 April 2021.


Dr. Laura Dickinson

Language and Learning Adviser

Laura works as a Language and Learning Adviser and supports students through individual consultations, developing resources, delivering engaging presentations and offering staff professional development.  Laura’s Doctoral thesis applied theories of social and cultural reproduction in education. Laura’s main research interests are inclusive education and utilising technology for engaging online learning.

Kat Cain

Manager, Digital Literacy Programs

As a Digital Literacy Programs Manager, Kat Cain explores innovative digital teaching and learning initiatives for Deakin Library.  Kat has a broad background in both academic and public library sectors but with an underpinning work focus on literacies. Her research interest centres on how technologies, people and learning interact.

Postcolonial Struggles and Global Spread of English: Examining EFL Students and Teacher’s beliefs and practices

Hamza R’boul

Current scholarship on the cultural politics of English language teaching often argues that non-native English language teachers may contribute to the marginalization of their own languages and culture through presenting Anglophone cultures as superior. Therefore, students may perceive the attempt of achieving a native-like competency as conditioned by their adoption of native-speakers’ ways of languaging and culture. In particular, Morocco is a postcolonial space that has been characterized by linguistic dependency which has started with the French and it is highly likely that it will be perpetuated by the supremacy of English. This presentation will discuss the results of my ongoing doctoral research on interculturality teaching in English as a foreign language classrooms in Morocco. It will draw on the findings of three studies that sought to examine the dynamics of culture and interculturality teaching in English language teaching classrooms in Morocco.  The aim was to discuss English language teaching in Morocco within the conditions of postcolonial positionality and linguistic dependency. The results revealed that (a) students tend to prefer Anglophone cultures as they are, according to them, more modern and attractive, and (b) teachers tend to teach culture and intercultural through comparison which present Anglophone perspectives as superior.


Hamza R’bouls is a PhD candidate in the Department of Humanities and Education Sciences at the Public University of Navarre. His works have appeared in international journals including English Today, Journal for Multicultural Education, Language and Intercultural Communication, and Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.

Concurrent Session 3.3

 Reflecting on the challenges of applying learning pedagogies and strategies to distance learning: How do we best support our students in the online environment?

Anibeth Desierto, Gina Surin & Carmela De Maio

There are well-known philosophical frameworks and pedagogies in the literature which have been proven effective in supporting student learning in higher education. These frameworks are based on the idea that students learn best where there is a supportive and caring classroom environment (Fitzsimmons, 2015; Freire, 1997), when tasks and academic literacies are scaffolded and modelled through social interactions between teachers and students (Vygotsky, 1987) and where students have a sense of belonging and connectedness with their peers (Sharp et al., 2014). Despite much research on learning frameworks and strategies, very little seems to have been written on how these would work in the online environment. Using these pedagogies in the face-to-face classroom is challenging enough; however, with the sudden move to online learning over the past year, teachers have been left searching for what is best practice effective in unfamiliar territory.

This paper presents the authors’ research on best practice in teaching and learnng; together with reflections on the practical strategies which have worked for them when teaching various subjects (such as law, humanities, education, business and science) to diverse cohorts of university students (such as enabling students, first year undergraduates and postgraduates) in a number of Australian universities. Using Kolb’s (1984) four stage learning model, the writers examined the to what extent the various philosophies could successfully be applied to their own virtual classrooms in terms of the kinds of support they could provide, which pedagogies worked best and which ones they found challenging to implement.

The preliminary findings appear to suggest that there needs to be further studies on how to adapt current pedagogies and strategies to distance learning with the support of those who have the interests of their students at heart.


Fitzsimmons, R. (2015). Countering the neoliberal paradigm: A pedagogy of the heart from a Finnish higher perspective. The Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies, 13(1), 210-237.

Freire, P. (1997). A pedagogy of the heart. Continuum.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Prentice-Hall.

Sharp, S., O’Rourke, J., Lane, J. & Hayes, A. (2014). Cohesion, coherence and connectedness: A 3C model for enabling-course design to support student transition to university. In Proceedings of the Joint AARE-NZARE conference.

Vygotsky, L. (1987). Collected works of L.S. Vygotsky, volume 1: Problems of general psychology (trans: Norris Minick). Plenum.


Anibeth Desierto

Anibeth has authored articles and book chapters, one for examining the philosophical basis of a legal pedagogy for law students and the second on philosophies of student support at university.  She has a Masters in Education from Deakin University and has been teaching local and international students in internal and online modes since 1988.

Gina Surin

Gina has taught marketing, business communications, and strategic career design at university as well as enabling pathway programs for nearly a decade.  She has a Masters in Mass Communications and has international experience in corporate advertising.  Her teaching experience includes internal and online modes for local and international students at universities.

Carmela De Maio

Carmela holds a PhD from Curtin University, a Master in English Studies from the National University of Singapore and an LLB from the University of Western Australia. Carmela has been teaching academic literacies, communication skills and law in higher education and has published in the fields of academic integrity, student support and learning strategies.

Virtual academic support at the University of Canberra: replicating the face-to-face experience

Gail Heinrich, Shane Rigby & Rita Dutta

Study Skills was formed in 2015 with the brief of providing virtual academic support options to meet the needs of the 21st century students. However, progress was impeded by the virtual learning environment (VLE) not supporting a seamless, synchronous student experience.

By March 2020, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Study Skills was ready to move completely online. New VLE technologies, including Canvas and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, had been trialled as part of PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Sessions). This trial enabled a virtual model of academic support to be conceived, replicating Study Skills’ drop-in services where a concierge ASK (Academic Skills and Knowledge) Advisor triaged incoming students to their peers or specialist Learning Advisors in private pods for face-to-face individual consultations.

This Study Help virtual room (VR) was mobilised within three weeks, a week prior to university lockdown. On entering the VR, a student was greeted by an ASK concierge who triaged their academic support needs and placed them in a virtual pod with either an ASK Advisor or Study Skills Learning Advisor, depending on the complexity of need. Within each pod, screens could be shared, and consultations conducted with the same level of confidentiality and interpersonal interaction as a face-to-face consult.

This virtual room has since morphed into the UC Help Hub, a one-stop-shop of student pastoral and academic support operating out of one virtual room. While still in its infancy, the Help Hub fosters unique online collaboration of all support services to provide holistic virtual support of UC students.


Gail Heinrich is the Manager, Study Skills at the University of Canberra and has extensive experience in secondary, vocational, and tertiary education including peer learning, academic support and online pedagogies.

Shane Rigby is the Senior Learning Coordinator of the Student Resource Centre. Shane manages discipline-specific academic support programs and implemented the online PALS program at the University of Canberra.

Rita Dutta is the ASK Advisor Coordinator with Study Skills and manages the recruitment and ongoing training and support of the student Academic Skills and Knowledge Advisor team in close consultation with the UC Library.