JIT literacy support for more effective learning

Image of clock with the words just in time.

Just-in-time strategies can keep businesses responsive and productive. JIT delivery of literacy support can have the same effect on students. Embedding information, resources, strategies, and learning opportunities at the point of need ensures students have the motivation, focus, and context to value, understand, and meaningfully practise the literacy skills they need to develop so that they perform better in assessment tasks – and that makes marking so much easier!

What are the literacy demands in your subject? Writing and referencing are the obvious targets for development, but don’t forget that the passive skills of reading and listening have a significant impact on student understanding as well. Consider also the type and level of writing skills that students require: do they need to know how to structure a report, an essay, a paragraph, or a sentence? What are the common errors you’d like to address?

When should you add teaching moments? Right when they’re needed, of course – at the exact point in the learning material when misunderstanding is likely or edification required or the literacy demands compromise the learning of content; or at the exact point of the session when a trigger event occurs: readings are required, or assignments are being planned, submitted, or returned. For example, you might want to embed this short recording into your 200 or 200 level subject content modules or assessment instructions or announcements on Interact2 a couple of weeks before assessments are due to assist students who are familiar with APA (6th ed.) to transition to the 7th ed. (I have the embedding code, if you’d prefer – just ask!)

How and where can you provide literacy support? Use your normal communication channels: Subject Outlines, Interact2, lectures, tutorials, and assignment feedback. Add selected learning resources and Academic Skills workshops to the Learning Schedule. Post announcements explaining relevant aspects of the writing expectations or directing students to Academic Skills support. In feedback, provide links to the Academic Skills appointment booking form. Ask your Academic Skills Coordinator to develop contextualised resources, workshops, recordings, and study guides or deconstructed model texts that can be uploaded to your subject site. Include explicit teaching points in lectures or tutorials.

Who can help to make all of this as seamless and painfree as possible? Your Academic Skills Coordinator, of course! I’ve already done some of the work for you – see the Calendar of prepared announcements aligned to the student lifecycle, the Literacy feedback grid, and the short videos on the ELLaN Policy @CSU Interact2 organisation site, or use the literacy and referencing comments in NORFOLK. For anything more tailored, just give me a call (07 55294140; dwheeler@csu.edu.au).