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Partnerships for student success: Integrated development of academic and information literacies across disciplines. Bev Kokkinn & Cathy Mahar Learning & Teaching Unit & Library University of South Australia November 2011. Outline. academic and information literacies models of delivery

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Bev Kokkinn & Cathy Mahar Learning & Teaching Unit & Library University of South Australia

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Bev kokkinn cathy mahar learning teaching unit library university of south australia

Partnerships for student success: Integrated development of academic and information literacies across disciplines

Bev Kokkinn & Cathy Mahar

Learning & Teaching Unit & Library

University of South Australia

November 2011



  • academic and information literacies

  • models of delivery

  • UniSA context

  • model for integration at UniSA

  • example

  • evaluation

  • conclusion

First year experience

First year experience

  • widely diverse group socio-cultural characteristics, expectations, levels of preparedness

  • anxieties around assessment play a critical role –students challenged by “academic languages and conventions (including assessment genres) they … encounter as the vehicles for evidencing learning success in higher education” (Kift & Moody 2009)

Academic literacies

Academic literacies

  • practices in universities differ between disciplines and can be viewed as social practices that are common to individual disciplinary communities.

  • students’ perspective “a dominant feature of academic literacy practices is the requirement to switch their writing styles and genres between one setting and another, to deploy a repertoire of literacy practices appropriate to each setting, and to handle the social meanings and identities that each evokes” (Lea & Street, 2006).

Academic literacies1

Academic literacies

Lea & Street (2006) identified three approaches or models of how “student writing” is supported in higher education.

  • a “study skills” model – assumes writing as a set of skills which can be remediated through training.

  • an “academic socialisation” model - assumes writing as a “transparent medium of representation” and “one culture” which can be inculcated into students through writing courses.

Academic literacies2

Academic literacies

  • the “academic literacies” model: – student writing and learning as issues at the level of epistemology and identities rather than skill or socialisation– assumes knowledge as constituted in discourses and power, where writing is taught within disciplines as well as generic courses on language/writing awareness.

Information literacy

Information literacy

  • “an understanding and set of abilities enabling individuals to recognise when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2000).

  • A set of progressive stages or building blocks, with skills in the earlier categories being necessary to develop skills in the later categories.

  • Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy (ANZIIL) Framework

  • UniSA Graduate Qualities:

    #2: “prepared for lifelong learning … be information literate”

Commonly used models

Commonly used models

  • during orientation periods and in the first weeks of study as a “just in case” strategy.

  • “study skills” model (Lea & Street 2006)

  • extra-curricular

  • generic skills development

  • delivered by staff outside the central courses of study

Potential partners

Potential partners

Model integration

Model: integration

Development of literacies within content of courses – 3 levels of cooperation:

  • a “consultation”

  • “collaboration”

  • “team teaching”

    (Dudley-Evans 2001 cited in Jones, Bonanno, & Scouller, 2001, p. 226)

Models identified

Models identified

  • Generic study skills models

  • 2 – way collaboration:

    • Learning Adviser  Course Coordinator

    • Librarian  Course Coordinator

    • Learning Adviser  Librarian

  • 3 – way collaboration:

    Learning Adviser  Librarian  Course Coordinator

3 way model integrated academic and information literacies across disciplines

3-way model: integrated academic and information literacies across disciplines

  • Consulted Dean:Teaching & Learning

    • Systemic, systematic and strategic approach – Question of sustainability?

  • Identified programs and courses to target

  • Arranged meetings with Course Coordinators in targeted courses

  • Discussed ‘hidden’ expectations; negotiated modes of delivery

  • Prepared materials – in close consultation with staff

  • Delivered

  • Evaluated

  • Reviewed and renegotiated for following year

  • Example nursing

    Example: Nursing

    • December 2008 – move to different campus

    • Initial meetings with program directors

    • Meetings with Program Director & Course Coordinators

    • Led to close collaboration with 6 Course Coordinators

    • Courses for commencing students (Yr1 & Yr2)

    • Integrated support varied in terms of

      • extent of integration

      • mode of delivery

        • collaborative question design

        • lectures/podcasts

        • electronic resources

        • extra-curricular activities

    Being a health professional

    Being a Health Professional

    Online assignment help

    Online assignment help

    Analysing the question

    Analysing the question

    Finding information

    Finding information



    • Student surveys

      • Electronic in targeted courses

      • Course Coordinator email

      • 600 students – 30% response (2007 data)

    • Staff survey

      • 9 Course Coordinators – 7 responses (2007 data)

    • Minute papers

      • 2009-11 (Nursing – after the lectures)

    • Course Evaluation Instrument

      • Question about the LA/AL ‘Assignment Help’

    Feedback on the cei

    Feedback on the CEI

    • Could read the information in my own time at home...

    • It helped to ease the stress out of it.

    • They were a great guide especially after returning to study after 18 years.

    • It also answered some of my questions without having to ask a lecturer

    • I thought the online assignment help was excellent. I felt it provided help step-by-step, and gave me a clearunderstanding of what was expected of me in the assessment. I felt it helped me better plan what I needed to do in the time provided. A fantastic idea.

    Partners for integration

    Partners for integration

    The model at unisa

    The model at UniSA

    • “academic literacies” model in programs (Lea & Street 2006)

    • 3-way collaboration between Course Coordinators, Learning Advisers and Librarians

    • academic and information literacies that are discipline specific and interlinked

    • commencing students targeted

    • integration continues beyond the first study period into later year courses

    • reaches many students

    The solution

    The solution:

    Acknowledgements and thanks

    Acknowledgements and thanks

    • the Learning Advisers and Academic Librarians involved from 2006 to 2011

    • the Program Directors and Course Coordinators from 2006 to 2011

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