Did you embed academic skills in 2019?

Image of a person's feet in a hammock.

You might have:

  • included an announcement that introduced the Academic Skills team’s services and resources to your students
  • invited me to spend 20 minutes with your students to introduce Academic Skills services and resources
  • requested some pdf, interactive, or video resources to suit the assessments in your subject or the particular needs of your students
  • invited me to develop and facilitate a workshop focused on the learning, writing, referencing, or presentation skills needed for assessments in your subject
  • asked me to adopt a student’s perspective to review your Subject Outline or assessments for clarity, accuracy of references, explicit inclusion of useful literacy resources or support strategies, or modelling of effective writing skills
  • requested my feedback in course or subject development processes
  • included literacy and numeracy identifiers through robust performance descriptors and feedback in your assessments or BKSB
  • aligned the language, literacy, and referencing criteria and descriptors in your assessment rubrics with AQF and institutional standards – maybe with a bit of help from my rubric templates
  • recycled your improved criteria and performance descriptors within a subject or across a group of subjects in a course
  • provided individual or group feedback that directed students to the Academic Skills team for further support

If you did:

  • thank you! And I’d like to think your students thank you, too.
  • I hope you noticed a positive effect on student performance or understanding – maybe a little more focus on the critical content instead of on clarifying expectations or being anxious over foundational skills.

If you didn’t, please remember that:

  • reading, writing, referencing, and learning are not innate skills, and students may not bring them to your class and their studies.
  • often the difference between an inadequate response and a good response, or between a good response and a great response, comes down to the student’s confidence and competence in understanding expectations and communicating effectively.
  • the more energy students need to spend on foundational skills, the less they have to spend on understanding subject content.
  • I can help with ready-made or contextualised strategies, literacy feedback, tools, resources, workshops, announcements, and links.

I look forward to hearing from you all in 2020 so I can make your life easier and help your students do their best. Have a restful and well-deserved break … then call me!

Debbie Wheeler, Academic Skills Coordinator (BJBS)

dwheeler@csu.edu.au; 07 55294140