Concurrent Session 4.1
Challenges in Reading English Online Journal Articles for Indonesian University Students
Hanandyo Dardjito, Nicola Rolls, Ari Setiawan
This study examines the barriers of online journal article for university students for whom English is a foreign language. While previous studies mostly focus on the instructional design for building academic reading skills, this study focuses on the baseline issues which need consideration before setting up the English academic reading instructional design. Academic reading challenges may create anxiety among the students who are expected to critical read, synthesise and reproduce the ideas these types of texts to succeed in their study. Ninety-five non-English study-program students at an Indonesian university voluntarily responded to the open-ended online questionnaire providing survey data of their academic reading challenges. The thematic analysis of the survey data revealed d four themes and eight subthemes that represented the students’ challenges. These challenges and the relationship between them is discussed. The results suggest that the students’ dependency on the meaning of every single word was the key challenge in reading English academic texts. Further, the reading backgrounds of the student cohort had a significant impact on their baseline reading skills.
Dr. Hanandyo Dardjito, Senior lecturer, Universitas Sarjanawiyata Tamansiswa, Indonesia.
Hanandyo earned his PhD from Charles Darwin University. He is interested in studying academic and digital literacy, and looking at students’ reading of academic text in EFL setting.
Dr. Nicola Rolls, Senior Researcher/Lecturer, Academic Language and Learning, College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts, Charles Darwin University.
Nicola has worked for more than twenty years in the field of Higher Education Enabling and the first-year experience, applying a systemic functional linguistics (SFL) approach to understanding the challenges of academic discourse and culture for new students. She is the lead author on a text for students on university communication and principle editor of a book on university teaching. She has led the development of the compulsory Common units program which provides first year Higher Education students with foundations in academic and cultural literacies.
Dr. Ari Setiawan, Senior lecturer, Universitas Sarjanawiyata Tamansiswa, Indonesia.
He earned his doctoral degree from Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta amd currently holds the position of Vice Director of Academic Affair at Post-graduate of Education Study Program. He runs ReSSI research institute and interested in educational assessment.
Developing intercultural competences in digital higher education
Ha Nguyen, Hilary Dolan, Sam Taylor & Thomas Peyretti
Intercultural competences have become an essential graduate attribute in a multicultural society and global world. These competences encompass attitudes, skills and knowledge that enable a person to function and thrive in today’s culturally diverse contexts of academic, professional and interpersonal communication. This presentation reports the emerging results of an AALL-funded research and resource development project into mindsets and practices that advance students’ intercultural competences in a digital higher education context. This investigation uses content analysis to examine current research evidence for best practice in developing intercultural competences through organically integrated inductive and deductive inquiry cycles. Our research draws on a dynamic, developmental conception of intercultural competences as an ongoing process that transforms one’s perception of oneself and others with evolving critical cultural awareness and engagement with difference. We also explore manifestations of these deep processes in language and communication. In digital higher education, this view translates into an intersection between sociolinguistic and socio-emotional skills, digital literacies and multimodal modes of learning. Our emerging research findings have suggested individual and structural conditions for the growth of intercultural competences. These conditions involve diversity-oriented principles in thought and action that both individuals, including educators and learners, and institutions need to embrace to enable the development of intercultural competences in themselves and others in an increasingly digitised world. We have also identified practical methods, activities and technologies for facilitating intercultural learning. Deepening intercultural competences can bring about more equitable outcomes by encouraging inclusive teaching approaches and a global learning mindset.
Dr Ha Nguyen, Academic Skills Adviser, University of Melbourne
I hold a PhD in Language and Literacy Education (University of Melbourne). I enjoy learning, innovating my practice and helping students to develop their academic, professional and interpersonal skills in their own ways and to engage with learning as a lifelong career.
Hilary Dolan, Academic Skills Adviser, University of Melbourne
With a background in education and psychology, I am interested in how developing intercultural competencies and academic literacies can promote a culture of inclusion.
Sam Taylor, Director, Culture Bridge Institute
I currently hold the position of Director at Culture Bridge Institute and work in the projects team at the Chancellery (Academic) Division of the University of Melbourne. I am passionate about learning how intercultural competences create a greater level of social cohesion.
Thomas Jay Peyretti, Consultant, Culture Bridge Institute
In my current role, I develop workshops and audio-visual material aiming to enhance the development of students’ intercultural competences. My studies in Criminology and Political Theory have enabled me to identify how the intersection of epistemologies and policies affects the individual’s ability to develop intercultural skills.
Concurrent Session 4.2
Methodology for demonstrating the impact of a university-wide language development program
Rosalie Goldsmith, Emily Edwards, Caroline Havery, Neil James, Pamela Mort, Aurora Murphy, Deborah Nixon, Gemma O’Donoghue & Joseph Yeo
Many Australian universities claim that their students graduate with strong communication skills, but it can be difficult to demonstrate how this is achieved. Providing evidence to support this claim is complicated by the diverse linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds of the student population. In response to this challenge, and to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) requirements regarding English language and academic preparation, the Academic Language and Learning team at the University of Technology Sydney has developed a university-wide language development program which screens and supports all commencing coursework students. The program has been in operation since 2019 and is known as the Academic Language Development framework. This presentation will outline the methodology used to demonstrate its impact. The evidence for the impact of the framework includes both qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data comprise focus group interviews and surveys of participating students, faculty staff, and academic language and learning staff. Quantitative data include correlation of students’ post-enrolment language assessment results with subject assessment tasks, tracking student academic outcomes, and student retention and progression. By presenting this methodology, we hope to provide the academic language and learning community with a model for evaluating and demonstrating the impact of language development programs.
Rosalie Goldsmith, Emily Edwards, Caroline Havery, Neil James, Pamela Mort, Aurora Murphy, Deborah Nixon, Gemma O’Donoghue, Joseph Yeo are members of the Academic Language & Learning team at the University of Technology Sydney. We have a diverse range of expertise in applied linguistics, project management, language teaching and curriculum development. We work with specific faculties to develop discipline-specific and professional communication practices with all coursework students.
An enabling Virtual Student Lounge: the missing link?
Transition of on-campus students to online during COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the lack of support provided to online students in building their own communities of practice (online learning communities) and facilitating social interaction to strengthen student connection and wellbeing within CDU’s Tertiary Enabling Program. A synchronous virtual student lounge (VSL) was developed using Zoom to provide a casual, social place for students to interact each week, whilst also developing their study management skills and build their resilience as university studies. Students were continuously surveyed to evaluate the applicability and usefulness of topics discussed in this online forum. However, students were also very happy to discuss their thoughts on the VSL in the synchronous sessions. Feedback from students and staff was overwhelmingly positive for the effect it had on the student (and staff) experience, particularly through the isolating times of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread lockdowns.
Jillianne is a lecturer in Charles Darwin University’s Tertiary Enabling Program, lecturing in the Bioscience and Foundation Maths units. Jillianne has also been leading the team of unit Academic Support Coordinators since their inception in 2017 with an evidence-based approach to the improvement of support activities conducted across the program.
Surfing the Both-ways Ocean
The principles of Both-ways Education can be used as a mirror to identify, and validate or challenge cultural values and assumptions held by both international students and Australian educational institutions. The 12 week unit “Intercultural Skills and Communication” has based its teaching and learning strategies around this idea. This unit is part of Charles Darwin University International College ‘s (CDUIC) pathway program for international students transitioning into a variety of Masters level programs at CDU.
Both-ways Education is generally associated with Indigenous Australian education. The Intercultural Skills and Communication unit makes no mention of Indigenous Australians in its learning objectives, and all students are Non-English Speaking Background students studying online from off-shore because of Australian border closures. Despite this, the learning objectives of the unit have been met through basing intercultural communication concepts and theories around the domain of Both-ways Education research. This is done through comparison and contrast with the diverse cultures represented by our international students. Moreover, students are exposed to place-based research material specific to the environment they will encounter when they are able to resume their study in the Northern Territory.
This paper describes the research material used in the unit, the students’ reaction to the material and the applications students have made of the material when reflecting on their own cultures and communicating these reflections with others.
Mark has a Doctorate in Education from University of Waikato, New Zealand and around 30 years teaching experience in secondary, tertiary and pathways education in New Zealand, Thailand and Australia. He is currently Head of CDU International College which provides pathways programs for international secondary, undergraduate and graduate students.
Concurrent Session 4.3
Creating space to quell the ‘I can’t do maths’ factor through piloting an applied numeracy framework within course content and advising
Debi Howarth, Raquel Salmeron & Anita Frederiks
The University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Learning Advisors (Maths) together with their Manager, designed an academic numeracy framework addressing conventional mathematical content but also accommodates ‘social, contextual, and critical aspects of the use of mathematics’ (Geiger, Goos, & Dole, 2015; p.1131) such as communication, mathematising, and using mathematical tools. Most USQ students study online, and some numeracy heavy courses are within non-traditional pathway options catering to a diverse student demographic.
The numeracy framework is the foundation for a pilot where numeracies are mapped across courses including those in which students traditionally experience difficulty. The mapping of numeracies to courses may reveal gaps in numeracy content and provide direction for learning advisor practice and student success.
Academically numerate students possess confidence and competence in applying mathematical concepts and knowledge (Galligan, 2013a; 2013b). Jain and Rogers (2019) found many adult learners demonstrated degrees of mathematical experience, confidence, ability, needs, and motivation when working with mathematical tasks (Jain & Rogers, 2019). Galligan and Taylor (2005) observed a lack of academic numeracy skills in commencing students undertaking non -mathematical coursework. Moreover, students could not uniformly demonstrate course numeracy demands.
These observations signify that higher education students require preparation for entry into ‘data drenched, technology integrated worlds and workplaces,’ (Geiger, Goos, & Dole, 2015; p.1132). Mapping and deployment of identified numeracies to courses and advising activity, may support students in preparing for these worlds.
Debi Howarth is an experienced higher education academic and manager. As a member of the Regional Universities Network, Academic Student Success Advising Project, she works in aligning learning advising within coursework. Debi co-authored the Griffith University Academic Skills Model with Nicholas Charlton and co-presented at AALL 2019 on feedback literacy.
Dr. Raquel Salmeron is an experienced higher education academic and researcher. She has convened and delivered mathematics and physics courses, significantly increasing student satisfaction and completion rates. As a mathematics learning advisor at USQ, she is collaboratively developing and trialling a numeracies framework to support student numeracy skills development.
Anita Frederiks has over 10 years’ experience as an Academic and Learning Advisors (Maths Skills) at the University of Southern Queensland. Anita is passionate about supporting students with their academic numeracy and mathematics skills in higher education.
Changing mindset as a gateway to further learning and the development of core academic numeracy skills
Matthew Norris, Ruby Sims, Kung-Keat Teoh & Pablo Munguia
Academic numeracy and spatial reasoning skills are essential to graduates of a university degree. This is especially true of clinical graduates who perform medical calculations, business and commerce graduates who make financial decisions, and graduate teachers who influence the next generation of learners. While the domain of foundational mathematics as a core academic skill is well established, the significance of students’ psychological wellbeing toward numeracy learning at university is often overlooked (Boaler, 2016). Social, cultural, and environmental influences can have a profound effect on students’ perceptions of numeracy (Buckley, 2013). Stereotype threats, negative learning experiences, and fixed views of math ability can all contribute to the development of anxiety, avoidance, and a visceral fight-or-flight response to numerical challenges (Ramirez et al., 2018). When combined with individual proneness to anxiety, unproductive learning behaviours such as procrastination, and differences in motivation and self-concept (Luttenberger et al., 2018), the result is a diverse cohort of learners, many of whom require a change in mindset as a gateway to further progress.
This paper describes an intervention to support undergraduate students who are at risk of experiencing math anxiety. Its aim is to dismantle the myth of fixed ability, reframe mathematics as a creative and deeply contextualised science of patterns and puzzles, and to normalise failure and success in spatial reasoning and numerical processing. Through this, students are encouraged to develop curiosity for the numeracy domain, establish a positive association between effort and learning progress, and are empowered to reject negative social and cultural stereotypes.
Boaler, J. (2016). Mathematical mindsets: unleashing students’ potential through creative math, inspiring messages and innovative teaching. John Wiley & Sons.
Buckley, S. (2013). Deconstructing maths anxiety: helping students to develop a positive attitude towards learning maths. Australian Council for Educational Research.
Luttenberger, S., Wimmer, S., & Paechter, M. (2018). Spotlight on math anxiety. Psychology Research and Behaviour Management, 11, 311–322.
Ramirez, G., Shaw, S. T., & Maloney, E. A. (2018). Math anxiety: past research, promising interventions, and a new interpretation framework. Educational Psychologist, 53(3), 145–164.
Dr Matthew D. Norris is an academic teaching specialist at Flinders University. His interests in student support focus on intuitive and abstract conceptions of science, and the psychology of
learning progress. He was previously WG Walker Fulbright Scholar at Princeton University and Bayer-Humboldt Research Fellow at Leibniz University Hannover.
Dr. Ruby Sims is an Associate Learning Advisor (Teaching Specialist) in Flinders University’s Student Learning Support Service.
Kung-Keat Teoh is a senior student learning academic advisor in Flinders University’s Student Learning Support Service. He coordinated the university’s academic orientation program since 2015. He has previously worked in elearning, ecommerce, human computer interaction and augmented reality and published papers in areas of eportfolio and development of multimedia resources.
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.
Two case studies reflecting the effectiveness of Online Academic Language and Learning support from the perspectives of a learning advisor and a student
The need to provide academic support to university students in an online learning environment has become a pressing issue. This study reflects on the perspectives of a Learning Advisor and a Student at an Australian University, to present an in-depth understanding of their experiences, issues, insights, or performances within an Online Academic Language and Learning (OALL) context. This paper is presented in a comparative manner and provides an overview of the most popular academic support programs offered in an online environment, analysing their effectiveness based on the data gathered from interviews from two case studies. The research follows a qualitative case study approach informed through the epistemology of constructivism. The findings reveal that online workshops and drop-in sessions offer a private and supportive space to develop critical academic skills and learn about the genres and structures preferred in different disciplines. Furthermore, the participants highlight the necessity of clarifying the purpose of these academic support sessions, a booking system to share materials/comments prior to meetings, delivering targeted drop-ins, and limiting the number of students attending the workshops. This research covers a wide range of online learning and support areas/issues and provides guidance for Learning Advisors and Students on delivering and participating in online academic support programs.
Vahede Nosrati is a Language and Learning Advisor at Deakin University and Victoria University. She obtained her PhD in Applied Linguistics (2019, Monash University), and Master’s in Education (2015). Her research interests are in Cultural Studies, Communication and Research skills, as well as World Englishes and Academic Language and Learning.
Concurrent Session 5.1
Academic Language and Learning (Science): Incorporating educational neuroscience into ALL Practice
Isabel Rossen & Adam Nicol
The scientific evidence on memory and learning is increasingly being incorporated into the scholarship of teaching and learning. As part of these efforts, cognitive psychologists have identified several study techniques conducive to long-term learning (e.g. retrieval practice, distributed practice; for reviews see Dunlosky et al. 2013; Weinstein et al., 2018).
Despite strong empirical evidence for such strategies, many students report favouring passive techniques known to be less effective, such as rereading or highlighting notes. This is hardly surprising; upon entering university, students are expected to quickly transition to self-directed modes of learning yet often receive limited instruction on how to do so. Promoting self-directed learning is often outside the expertise and perceived remit of disciplinary teaching staff, but is clearly within the scope of Academic Language and Learning Centres, who are uniquely placed to support students to develop ways of learning that are consistent with insights from contemporary learning science.
This paper builds on the rich history of ALL expertise in Australia. We discuss how the disciplinary identity of ALL locates itself primarily around language and discourse studies, drawing on communication paradigms for its theoretical grounding (Barthel et al 2021). We make the case for adding learning science to these paradigms. We will give an brief overview of learning science insights with the most relevance to ALL practitioners including how it can help us support diverse learners, and draw on the expertise of the audience as to where efforts should be directed to further integrate learning science in ALL practice.
Barthel, A., Bartlett, A., Chanock, K. & Moore, T. (2021). Changing identities: A history of Academic Language and Learning in Australia
Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4- 58.
Weinstein, Y., Madan, C. R., & Sumeracki, M. A. (2018). Teaching the science of learning. Cognitive research: principles and implications, 3(1), 1-17.
Isabel Rossen and Adam Nicol are both academic skills adviser at The University of Western Australia where they teach writing, research and learning skills.
Concurrent Session 5.2
Classroom to ClassZoom: engagement and participation in an online environment?
Deborah Nixon, Aurora Murphy & Joseph Yeo
For many, 2020 was a watershed year in transitioning to multimodal learning and teaching in response to the global pandemic. In this context, we explore participation as an assessable ‘task’, as well as the understandings students and teachers share and bring to the class-Zoom about participation and engagement. An integral part of this discussion is a consideration of the relationship between the expectations of teachers and online participation and engagement.
This could inform a shift away from a performative model of participation to a more nuanced appreciation of how engagement is identified within the cultural diversity of our students. We base our discussion on findings from interviews with teachers who work with international students in order to acculturate them into Australian University subjects and courses. In order to enhance students’ ability to succeed, language-based tutorials that complement core subjects prepare students to see themselves as part of an academic community, and to feel belonged. These tutorials also empower students to more confidently engage in their core classes and to practise the discourse of their discipline through scaffolded exercises in a safe environment.
This, we argue is a new way to approach ‘participation’ and understand how student engagement is indicated in the class-Zoom, and to offer teachers a more satisfying and comprehensible notion of how online classes enable a different relational context. With a deeper recognition of students’ participation and engagement, institutions will be more able to retain students from different language and cultural backgrounds who, otherwise, might be marginalised.
Dr Aurora Murphy has been working in the area of academic communication for 20 years. During this time, she has worked with a range of learners across Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and England. She has a PhD in performance studies and is interested in how communication is performed.
Dr Deborah Nixon has worked with the Academic Language and Learning team at UTS for 16 years. She has designed and delivered language workshops and tutorial material to support students and staff in the FASS and Law. Her Phd in social enquiry informs her transdisciplinary approach to language and learning.
Joseph Yeo is the ALL academic liaison for the UTS Business School. He has been involved in the implementation of the UTS Embedding English Language Framework since 2019. Joseph works closely with academics in embedding academic literacies in curriculum, and supporting students in the development of their academic literacies skills.
Embedded ALLND dance: Steps forward, back and sideways
The Academic Language, Literacy and Numeracy Development (ALLND) program in the Faculty of Education at Monash University employs a holistic approach where academic communication, as well as personal literacy and numeracy skills are developed within students’ disciplinary studies in the 1st year unit (550-750 annual enrolments). The operating framework for the program is based on the notions of dialogue, mutual understanding, life-long learning and embedded academic language development (Ajjawi & Boud, 2018; Janssen & Podorova, 2019; Lim & Symons, 2018; Podorova, 2016, 2017; Podorova & Eaton, 2019; Wingate & Tribble, 2012). Close collaboration with Faculty academics, students, the wider Monash community and national accreditation bodies ensures that the program has a positive impact on the quality of student experience and learning, as evidenced through student feedback, retention and academic performance data, engagement analytics and formal program evaluation surveys. A coherent, inclusive and strengths-based approach proved to be especially helpful for student transition to university in 2020. However, the program facilitators have to overcome recurring challenges when working with students and academics; sometimes it feels as if we all take one step forward and two steps back (or sideways). This paper provides an overview of practical strategies that allow the ALLND team, the Faculty academics and students to ultimately work towards students’ independence and improved learning outcomes.
Ajjawi, R. & Boud, D. (2018). Examining the nature and effects of feedback dialogue. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(7), 1106-1119, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2018.1434128
Janssen, K. & Podorova, A. (2019). The evolution of a LANTITE preparation program: More than teaching to the test. Paper presented at the Association for Academic Language and Learning Conference, Freemantle, WA.
Lim, N. & Symons, C. (2018). A step towards putting the students back into the academic language support model. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12(2), 39-54.
Podorova, A. (2016). Academic Language Feedback toolkit: Making progress with post-entry language skills development. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 10(1), 141-154.
Podorova, A. (2017). Discipline academics as academic language development facilitators: Dream or reality? Paper presented at the 13th Biannual Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning, Geelong, Australia.
Podorova, A. & Eaton, A. (2019). Meaning making and academic communication skills: a practical guide for staff and students. Paper presented at the Association for Academic Language and Learning Conference, Freemantle, WA.
Wingate, U. & Tribble, C. (2012). The best of both worlds? Towards an English for Academic Purposes/Academic Literacies writing pedagogy. Studies in Higher Education, 37(4), 481-495, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2010.525630
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.
“A Waste of Our Time”: Language Assessment Tasks and Selective Degree Cohorts
The profile of Higher Education students has shifted over the past 20 years in response to the government’s policy of broadening university participation and the increasing internationalisation of Australia’s Higher Education sector (Read, 2019). In this changing context, most Australian universities have adopted post-entrance language assessments (PELAs) to ensure admitted students are properly equipped for tertiary studies (Harris, 2013; Read, 2019). While some institutions target particular cohorts, others have mandated a PELA for all commencing students.
This institution-wide approach creates distinctive challenges, however (Arkoudis, 2013). This paper investigates one of these: how should we implement PELAs for students enrolled in highly selective courses? While PELAs often engender resentment, these feelings are frequently more acute amongst these cohorts (Read, 2015). Teaching staff can be similarly resistant. Under such circumstances, the PELA is reduced to a waste of time for all concerned.
To demonstrate this fate is not inevitable, the paper presents two case studies: the introduction of PELAs into Curtin University’s MBA program and its Bachelor of Laws degree. Both courses comprise high-achieving, overwhelmingly domestic EFL students; and both previously declared a PELA unnecessary, institutional requirement notwithstanding. Drawing on the principles of successful ALL work and (often painful) praxis, I argue that success is contingent on several factors, including: securing support from key stakeholders; designing a relevant, skills-based task; providing timely, tailored feedback; and being flexible and responsive with any interventions. By following these principles, a PELA can be rendered both palatable and productive in seemingly unpropitious circumstances.
Benjamin Sacks is a Lecturer in Academic Communication Development in Curtin University’s Faculty of Business and Law. Within the ALL field, his research focuses on how students create and maintain online communities, as well as how staff can develop programs that can improve retention and success among commencing students.
Concurrent Session 5.3
Towards a Multimodal Community of Inquiry Framework
The Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001) describes three so-called presences (teaching, social, and cognitive) that contribute to the development of critical inquiry skills among students and the delivery of a worthwhile educational experience in online instruction. Since its conception, researchers, instructors, and educational designers have concentrated on spoken and written language as the main means of measuring the extent to which these are established in an online course.
This paper presents the findings of a three-year mixed methods study that followed eight online TESOL instructors at three institutions and in two different countries. The study sought to:
- Identify how instructors utilise semiotic resources in training English language teachers online
- Create an intervention, in the form of a professional development course, which models non-language semiotic resource use in support of establishing a community of inquiry.
- Undertake a survey of practice to measure the relative success of the intervention.
The results of the study suggest that instructors who are aware of the potential of semiotic resources to help in establishing a community of inquiry are more likely to employ them. Online instruction (especially using multimedia) is well-suited to establishing social presence (e.g., through creating introductory videos). Finally, the schoices instructors make regarding semiotic resource use reflect their beliefs and values in terms of TESOL pedagogy, the importance of modelling as a trainer, the role of language teachers, and indeed the role of English in the global context.
Stafford Lumsden is a doctoral candidate in linguistics at Macquarie University, NSW. He holds an M.A. TESOL (Victoria University, Wellington) and an M.Res. from Macquarie. Stafford has taught English language teachers for 10 years in South Korea and Australia and is currently a Technology Enhanced Learning & Education Specialist at The University of Wollongong, NSW.
Rethinking approaches to multimodal embedded teaching: reflections on the last two years
Vivien Silvey & Thuy Do
At the 2019 AALL conference, we posed the question “Can a curriculum-based framework help us to tackle the embedding problem?” We argued that such a framework can assist us to embed academic literacies, particularly in the context of an institution without graduate attributes. Our pre-pandemic presentation outlined initial findings of staff and student attitudes towards our multimodal approaches to embedding academic literacies within courses. Little did we realise that 2020 would pose significant challenges, and like many of our colleagues in the sector, we have had to adapt our practices for online, hybrid delivery. Similar to Cavaleri and Tran’s reflection (2021, p. R4), this has involved resetting our views about student engagement and quality experience. Our project’s evolution has led us to explore embedding with a whole of degree, global approach using the framework. We report on how we adapted our embedded multimodal teaching in 2020 and 2021, and how these adaptations led us to trial a whole of degree focus. We share our resources, our evaluation approaches, the challenges we faced and the strategies we developed to tackle the (dare we say it) even more “wicked problem of embedding academic literacies” (Benzie, Pryce & Smith, 2017) during the pandemic. While resource-intensive, we found that increased efforts to provide multimodal delivery of embedded teaching was necessary to support the changing needs of our students and academic colleagues. Embedding at a global level offers a way to manage this resource-intensiveness, as it reduces duplication and supports students’ development.
Benzie, HJ, Pryce, A, & Smith, K 2017, ‘The wicked problem of embedding academic literacies: exploring rhizomatic ways of working through an adaptive leadership approach’, Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 227 – 240, doi: 10.1080/07294360.2016.1199539
Cavaleri, M and Tran, K 2021, ‘Online academic support during the COVID-19 pandemic: Reflections on unexpected outcomes that challenge assumptions’, Journal of Academic Language & Learning, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. R1 – R11 .
Dr Vivien Silvey and Dr Thuy Do are Learning Advisers at The Australian National University (ANU). We coordinate embedded academic literacies teaching across ANU, at all levels, from first year undergraduate through to final year PhD students. We are passionate about providing discipline-embedded support that students find practical and meaningful.
Instructors’ views on courses delivered online: The case of an Italian university
The health emergency is compelling us to adopt new habits, including those related to education; therefore, it may be worth considering targeted teaching strategies and their future development. Current research into e-learning and technology-supported teaching has recently developed in an attempt to identify possible future transformations at all levels of education. This paper concentrates on the tertiary level and describes a study on educators’ views on courses delivered via Moodle during the pandemic and on the pedagogical models most used. Using the case study on methodology, the author analyses some possible forms of online education from the most basic to those implemented through a combination of digital activities and resources and their application at the University of Urbino (Italy). Data were collected by means of a questionnaire administered to 231 university teachers during the first year of the pandemic. The findings suggest that, in general, there is a good basic predisposition toward the use of technology but also inevitable stress that is, however, combined with an underlying sense of satisfaction. The educators’ technological skills, their tools and the advice offered by the institution appear satisfactory, while students found some basic difficulties in accessing online lessons. The most used didactic practices are sharing files via Moodle, using web conferencing software, and text chats during lessons. Finally, future developments are to be expected as lecturers express a willingness to continue using the same technological resources they found most effective during COVID-19.
Flora Sisti is the Rector’s delegate for Teaching Innovation, Director of CISDEL (Integrated Centre for Didactics and E-Learning), and full Professor at Urbino University. She has published on a range of topics including: CLIL, English Teaching Methodology for Young Learners, Drama in EFL Teaching, E-learning, and ICT in FL Teaching.