Raising the bar on self-access centre learning support
Dofs, Kerstin; Hobbs, Moira
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Citation:Dofs, K., & Hobbs, M. (2010). Raising the bar on self-access centre learning support. In V. van der Ham, L. Sevillano & L. George (Eds.). Shifting sands, firm foundations: Proceedings of the 2009 Annual International Conference of the Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa/New Zealand (ATLAANZ). Auckland: ATLAANZ. Retrieved from http://www.atlaanz.org/research-and-publications/albany-2009-conference-proceedings-published-2010
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1619
Tertiary Learning Advisors reflect on their ‘good practice’ through three key terms: utilisation, effectiveness and individual student support. We ask ourselves: Are the facilities and the advisory service support structures utilised fully? How effective is our learners’ study? What is best practice regarding the way we support our students? This article has two main sections. The first consists of a summary of individualised student support followed by two examples of practice in this area; these include an outline of three studies focusing on support for independent language learning conducted at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) from 2006 to 2009 (Dofs & Hornby, 2006; Dofs, 2009a; Dofs, 2009b), and an up-to-date description of independent language learning in the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) at Unitec. The second section comprises a progress report from a study about the current state of ILCs in New Zealand, the issues facing them, and how these might be addressed. The main themes emerging from both the research in progress, and from the authors’ own experiences, fall into two main categories: the philosophical position of independent learning/autonomous learning in the ILC within the institute, and the implications of managing a centre to be of most benefit to students. The latter were evident in the utilisation of the ILC at one of the institutions where research led to the conclusions that it is not enough to simply provide an ILC; students also have to learn how to study independently, how to use self study materials, and how to plan for their self studies, and the ILC should provide this support, in liaison with classroom teachers.