(Session) Mapping the academic skills journey: supporting student ambition

Mel Kinchant and Claire Coleman (Student & Academic Services)

The Student Learning Advisers have been working collaboratively with module and programme leaders across the faculties to embed academic skills development throughout the programme of study in a coherent and cohesive approach. The aim is to equip students with the academic skills appropriate to their Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level.

We have worked with academic staff to develop ‘academic skills journeys’. This framework allows us to provide academic skills support at appropriate points in the programme of study, contextualised to meet the needs of the cohort (for example, direct entrants, international, postgraduate) and/or to a particular assignment, ensuring a structured learning experience. Support is delivered in a variety of formats, including workshops, presentations or through the provision of additional one-to-one student support sessions.

Recent research (Parkes et al, 2014), suggests that students perceive support that is embedded into their programmes as more relevant than support delivered solely by professional services, particularly when linked to specific modules and assignments. Whilst providing a coherent structure, the ‘academic skills journey’ framework remains flexible to acknowledge the diversity of our student population and provision of a variety of support mechanisms.

We have been focusing on this collaboration for only a year or so and are currently in the process of collating student and academic staff feedback for the current academic session. However, student feedback (n=737) from integrated workshops delivered in the 2012/13 academic year, indicates that 99% of students found the workshop to be useful and 95% thought that the workshop would help them with their assessments.

Theoretical underpinning
Elliott, D., Ugboma, D. and Knight, J. (2013). Implementing a collaborative framework for academic support for registered nurses. Nurse Education Today, 33, pp.1581-1586

Parkes, S., Blackwell Young, J., Cleaver, E. and Archibald, K. (2014). Academic and professional services in partnerships literature review and overview of results. The Higher Education Academy

Richardson, J.T.E. (2011). Approaches to studying, conceptions of learning and learning styles in higher education. Learning and Individual Differences, 21, pp 288-293

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. (2014). The Framework. Aims of the SCQF

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