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University writing skills

Sharon Delmege, Jennifer Robinson and Jennifer Silburn
Murdoch University
This presentation will present findings from two needs assessments (students and staff) regarding academic writing skills.

In our teaching we find that many students, across Divisions, are falling behind in the development of written communication skills. This is frustrating for both students and teachers because writing proficiency is a graduate attribute that is expected by employers and the community. Formal teaching of writing skills is largely confined to Foundation units and the Student Learning section of the TLC, but skills acquisition is limited by the multiple demands and uneven delivery of skills in Foundation units and by the large number of students unable to participate at TLC workshops. We seek to complement and extend existing methods with a web based delivery of writing skills that draws on the experience of the Student Learning Centre and web sites elsewhere. Access will be facilitated through WebCT, with links to each Division.


This web-delivery approach will provides students with an additional avenue to acquire writing skills; easy access to an increasingly preferred mode of study; and highly relevant content, derived from an examination of two preliminary needs assessment surveys.

The project involves cross discipline relations and encourages staff from all Divisions to reflect on their teaching practice. By providing staff with feedback from student and staff surveys, the project may identify practices within/between Units, Schools and Divisions that further discussion, reflection and awareness of the need to alter, vary or standardise practices.

Contact person: Sharon Delmege, Lecturer, Media, Communication and Culture, Murdoch University

Presentation format: Roundtable

Please cite as: Delmege, S., Robinson, J. and Silburn, J. (2002). University writing skills. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/delmege-abs.html

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Created 2 Dec 2001. Last revision: 1 Feb 2002. HTML: Roger Atkinson [ rjatkinson@bigpond.com ]