Embedding Interventions for Better Critical Writing and Reading

Jane Mullen (Speaker), Jess Haigh (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description

This collaborative research project aims to address the perceived difficulties some undergraduate students have in reading and thinking critically, and to explaining their thinking clearly in their writing (Itua et.al., 2014). Attendees to this session will take away strategies for collaborative working and easy ways of embedding critical practice into subject specific sessions. Within the School of Education at the University of Huddersfield it was perceived that some students were displaying a lack of critical reading of academic sources within their dissertations. The need for critical academic information literacy to be embedded within disciplines is well established (Theis, 2012; Hill and Tinker, 2013). This project, led by Academic Skills tutors working collaboratively with Subject Librarians, is developing a set of physical and online resources that can be used across the undergraduate framework. The resources will be course-specific learning innovation activities, fully embedded within subject tutorials, which will place the learning outcomes of critical writing and reading in context of the course material. This will engage the learners as they will immediately see the relevance of the skills covered (Cooke, 2010). The project is also developing activities that students can be directed to complete outside of class time. This could take the form of a flipped classroom approach, or signposting for future use. The aim is to improve students" searching and evaluating skills, in order to be more confident in using academic sources critically in their writing. By developing activities to be embedded in class and to be promoted by tutors, the project will, it is hoped, lead to students" writing improving. Primary research was undertaken by the Academic Skills Tutor for the School, who interviewed course leaders and module leaders to find which specific modules to target. Research Methodology modules for three key courses were then selected for a pilot. Resources are now being developed for these modules. Using escape rooms, online quizzes and other methods, these resources focus on "finding stuff", "evaluating stuff" and "writing stuff up critically". The teaching resources are being designed to appeal to tutors to use in class, with some options to direct students towards for independent study.
Period10 Apr 2017
Held atLibrarian's Information Literacy Annual Conference
Event typeConference
LocationSwansea, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational