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University writing skills

Delmege, S., Robinson, J. and Silburn, J. (2002) University writing skills. In: Teaching and Learning Forum 2002: Focusing on the student, 4 - 6 February 2002, Edith Cowan University, Perth


This presentation will present findings from two needs assessments (students and staff) regarding academic writing skills.

In our teaching we find that many students, across Divisions, are falling behind in the development of written communication skills. This is frustrating for both students and teachers because writing proficiency is a graduate attribute that is expected by employers and the community. Formal teaching of writing skills is largely confined to Foundation units and the Student Learning section of the TLC, but skills acquisition is limited by the multiple demands and uneven delivery of skills in Foundation units and by the large number of students unable to participate at TLC workshops. We seek to complement and extend existing methods with a web based delivery of writing skills that draws on the experience of the Student Learning Centre and web sites elsewhere. Access will be facilitated through WebCT, with links to each Division.


Further development of writing skills.
Opportunities for students to compare and reflect their level of skills.
Relevant opportunities to practice skills.
A resource to which staff can direct students in need of help.
Opportunities for staff to review their guidelines, requirements and standards in terms of best practice.

This web-delivery approach will provides students with an additional avenue to acquire writing skills; easy access to an increasingly preferred mode of study; and highly relevant content, derived from an examination of two preliminary needs assessment surveys.

The project involves cross discipline relations and encourages staff from all Divisions to reflect on their teaching practice. By providing staff with feedback from student and staff surveys, the project may identify practices within/between Units, Schools and Divisions that further discussion, reflection and awareness of the need to alter, vary or standardise practices.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Conference Website:
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