Supporting academic development to enhance the student experience
Schwenger, Bettina; Owen, Hazel
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Citation:Owen, H. & Schwenger, B. (2009) Supporting academic development to enhance the student experience, in The Student Experience, Proceedings of the 32nd HERDSA Annual Conference, Darwin, 6-9 July 2009: pp 324-335.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2096
Students' learning experiences and study success can be significantly enhanced through a combined approach that embeds Literacy, Language and Numeracy skills enhancement explicitly into discipline content. An essential aspect of this approach is the provision of academic professional development that is engaging and helps staff review their methodology in a supported and sustainable manner. This paper describes stage one of a pilot research study and ongoing initiative between one of the vocational disciplines (Automotive Engineering, which is part of the Unitec Applied Technology Institute) and the Academic Development Unit at Unitec New Zealand. At this stage, using a 'Tradeshow approach', fifteen Literacy, Language and Numeracy related tools and strategies, as well as mini-demonstration teaching sessions, have been chosen as a way to introduce and discuss effective practice in collaborative and contextualised professional development sessions. The findings from a pilot study around the Tradeshow approach, including the iterative cycle of evaluation and improvement in response to participant feedback, are shared. The study has helped identify and evaluate how this new capability building approach has assisted with supporting and motivating discipline specialists in their initiatives to embed and add value to students’ learning experiences and study success. Describing a number of key strategies and tools, this paper will discuss the results of the study as well as lessons learned and associated implications.