Student evaluation of academic literacy workshops and individual consultations: A study in an Australian university


  • Lai Ping Florence Ma Macquarie University


academic language and learning, academic literacy, workshop evaluation, student feedback, individual consutlations


Academic language and learning (ALL) support aims to provide additional learning assistance to students for them to acquire various academic skills to meet the requirements of their study. It is worth investigating whether language support services provided by ALL advisers are useful and relevant to students’ learning needs. This paper reports on a study which aims to evaluate two types of language support services, namely academic skills workshops and individual consultations, provided by an Academic Skills Unit located at an Australian university. Quantitative data were collected from an online survey completed by 129 university students who accessed the services of the Unit. Participants were asked to evaluate workshop learning materials, workshop administration, and facilitators’ teaching as well as the quality of individual consultation services. Descriptive statistical data analysis was performed and results show that various types of student groups accessed the services, and the reasons for using the services tended to be of a practical nature including understanding university expectations, knowing assignment requirements, and obtaining better grades. Most participants showed satisfaction with these two types of services. This study also examined the perceived impacts of services on preparedness for study, learning outcomes, and student retention through the survey, and the results indicated that workshops had a greater perceived impact on student retention than that of individual consultations. This study provides evidence-based research that can inform the practice of ALL professionals and has important implications for strategic academic literacy support for university students. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Author Biography

Lai Ping Florence Ma, Macquarie University

Dr Lai Ping Florence Ma is a lecturer in English as a Foreign Language at Macquarie University. She has had extensive experience in teaching EFL and ESL at various levels in Hong Kong and Australia. Her research interests include NNEST studies, use of L1, language teacher education, and academic literacy.




How to Cite

Ma, L. P. F. (2018). Student evaluation of academic literacy workshops and individual consultations: A study in an Australian university. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12(2), A1-A17. Retrieved from



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