Embedded Academic Language and Learning support via an e-learning tool

  • Jennifer Silburn
  • Malcolm Flack
  • Sharon Bridgeman
  • Ruth Warwick Member of AALL
Keywords: Academic skills in an on-line medium, Academic language and learning, Embedded academic skills, Interactivity

Abstract

This paper reports findings from a study of the efficacy of an e-learning tool to deliver a program of academic language and learning (ALL) support for external students at Charles Darwin University (CDU). This ALL program was delivered using the Wimba virtual learning environment on the “Blackboard” e-learning platform. Wimba provides a live synchronous classroom where students can interact with their lecturer and fellow students. Live classes were recorded and archived for students’ online asynchronous access. Specifically, the study assessed the effects of the embedded ALL program on student learning outcomes measured by their academic perform-ance and their self-report of their online experience. For the purposes of comparison, the outcomes of external students in synchronous Wimba, asynchronous Wimba and no Wimba groups were compared with those of internal (face-to-face) students who received no ALL support. Findings of this study showed that the external students who received online synchronous ALL support had significantly better outcomes than those who received ALL support via the archived recording. The mean assessment marks of the external synchronous group were 11 percent higher than the other groups. The findings also suggest that through live virtual interaction with others, the external students felt more confident and more connected to other students and the lecturers involved. These findings have important implications for the design of e-learning processes and delivery of embedded ALL support for external students’ study skills using e-learning platforms.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Silburn
Head of School, School of Academic Language and Learning. Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts. Charles Darwin University.
Malcolm Flack
Lecturer, School of Health, Faculty Engineering, Health, Science and Environment, Charles Darwin University.
Sharon Bridgeman
Project Manager/Quality Assurance Facilitator, School of Academic Language and Learning. Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts. Charles Darwin University.
Ruth Warwick, Member of AALL
Academic Language and Learning Facilitator, School of Academic Language and Learning. Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts. Charles Darwin University.
Published
2012-10-05
How to Cite
Silburn, J., Flack, M., Bridgeman, S., & Warwick, R. (2012). Embedded Academic Language and Learning support via an e-learning tool. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 6(3), A36-A47. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/191
Section
Research Articles