Supporting academic literacies in an online environment

  • Sasikala Nallaya University of South Australia
  • Jane Kehrwald University of South Australia
Keywords: Academic Literacy, Academic language and learning, online environment

Abstract

Acquiring competence in academic literacies is complex and is often directed by the orientations and practices valued by a particular discipline area. Often, students who have not been oriented to the academic literacies of their discipline are expected to participate in high levels of academic discourse without appropriate scaffolding or support. Recognising this, the University of South Australia (UniSA) set up a Language Literacies Learning (L3) website in 2012. The purpose of this website was to provide academic language and learning resources to support the development of students’ academic literacies in their discipline areas. Although the activity report from the L3 website has indicated that it is popularly used by students, it was agreed pre-implementation that the website would have to be evaluated to ensure that it was performing in the way it was intended to and identify any gaps that would inform its future development. This paper reports on a study that was carried out to evaluate the L3 website. Two main research questions guided the collection of data, namely, 1) Do the online resources adequately support the development of the students’ academic literacies in their discipline areas, and 2) Do the resources provide students with the scaffolding they require to produce the genres of their discipline? Data was collected through the administration of an online survey and semi-structured interviews conducted on a representative sample of students in UniSA.

Author Biographies

Sasikala Nallaya, University of South Australia
Language and Learning Coordinator, aligned to the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Learning and Teaching Unit.
Jane Kehrwald, University of South Australia
Language and Learning Coordinator, aligned to the Division of Information Technology, Environment and Engineering, Learning and Teaching Unit.
Published
2013-11-28
How to Cite
Nallaya, S., & Kehrwald, J. (2013). Supporting academic literacies in an online environment. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 7(2), A79-A94. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/259