Tag Archives: academic writing

6 takeaways about improving students’ communication skills

Wouldn’t it be good to get in the same room with people who have spent years thinking about important learning and teaching issues? I had such an opportunity yesterday, when I attended a workshop by OLT (Office of Learning and Teaching) fellows A/Prof. Sophie Arkoudis and Dr Anne Harris looking on a thorny issue of communication skills of our graduates.

Missed it? Not to worry – here are my top 6 takeaways. A 3-hour workshop in 3 minutes! Continue reading 6 takeaways about improving students’ communication skills

Have you Turnitin-ed??

Recently, the University Discipline Committee received an appeal based on irregularity in the marking process where the assessment mark (based on the quality of the assessment’s content) was released prior to the Turnitin software being used to detect the plagiarism matter.

With the new implementation of the online marking process, the Committee would like to remind all Faculties to ensure (when possible) that Turnitin is utilised prior to the release of a final assessment mark to the student. 

Contact Mitch Parsell with any queries about assessment and using Turnitin.

Evolving English: Our new English Language Policy

Evolving English: An update on our new English Language Policy

At Macquarie University we are proud of our diverse cultural and language communities. We are also committed to producing graduates who are effective communicators with discipline-specific knowledge and skills. Achieving this requires students to be skilled in using the English Language.

For a native speaker this may seem easy, however English is constantly evolving, and varies in different contexts. For example, language in disciplines and professions can be used in a particular way (such as ‘derivative’ in finance or mathematics), or can be specific to that discipline (jargon).  No matter what their background, all students will encounter unfamiliar language at some point at University, and all students must continually develop their skills to be able to successfully communicate in academic and professional settings.

Comic about language (Creative Commons)

There are a lot of great resources available across the University for students  including self-directed resources, learning skills workshops and programs such as Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and conversation groups.

One way for students to acquire skills is when they are included within programs. There are many resources for staff in designing materials, in particular two excellent professional development guides  How to Embed Discipline-specific Discourse – Learning Through Communication  and  Developing your students’ English Language proficiency. As language is constantly changing we must ensure we change with it.

In May the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) set up a working party with representatives from across the University to draft a new English Language policy. The policy will outline expectations of both staff and students in actively developing English language skills including the use of academic and discipline-specific discourse.

To draft the policy the working party has reviewed existing policies, resources available across the University, the  Australian Qualifications Framework and the DEEWR English Language Standards for Higher Education.  Draft copies of the policy, procedure and guideline were distributed last month through Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees for consultation.

The SLTC will meet shortly to discuss comments that have been received so far. If you have any feedback, remember to offer it to your Faculty Learning and Teaching committee or email directly to Antonia Dykes.

John Dumay’s Eleven Tips for Researching, Writing and Publishing

‘Publish or Perish.’ It’s a familiar refrain to any academic for whom research output is not just an important vocational responsibility, but a key metric of professional performance. Thus it was that two-dozen researchers from all stages of their careers joined Associate Professor John Dumay in a workshop run in the lead up to Learning and Teaching Week on developing academic research, writing and publishing strategies. Phil Betts looks at some of the top tips offered in the workshop to help optimize your chances of a successful publication.
Continue reading John Dumay’s Eleven Tips for Researching, Writing and Publishing

Help! My student can’t write!

Writing matters and HDR supervision

By Claire Aitchison, Senior Lecturer, Learning and Teaching Centre

Frustrated_man_at_a_deskIt’s likely, that, at some time or another, you’ve heard an academic colleague express this sentiment. People hold very strong feelings about writing – and one person’s views are not necessarily shared by others. For example, what is considered convoluted and overly referenced in one discipline, may be considered quite normal in another.

Continue reading Help! My student can’t write!

Symposium on “Building Higher Degree Research Student Writing Capacity”

The Association of Academic Language and Learning (AALL)  is presenting a symposium Building Higher Degree Research Student Writing Capacity to be held at the University of Sydney, on October 3, 2014.

Abstracts are due July 16th !

This free one-day symposium is an opportunity for institutions to showcase innovative practices – offered by supervisors, academic developers and language advisers for example – that support doctoral writing and develop institutional capacity in developing researcher writing capabilities. The organisers are interested in individual and institutional innovations, theorisation and research, and we believe Macquarie University has much to offer in this regard. Continue reading Symposium on “Building Higher Degree Research Student Writing Capacity”

How do we make academic writing happen?

book chapter word frequency (2)
Word-cloud of chapter “An intimate circle: reflections on writing as women in higher education”

Picture yourself with a writing deadline looming. The telephone is ringing, the inbox overflowing, students or colleagues want your attention. Upon reading the 1000 words you have just written, you delete them and start again. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you are probably wondering: how can I make my writing happen in everyday life? Continue reading How do we make academic writing happen?