Creating an academic literacy framework to enhance collaboration between learning developers and subject academics

Rosella D'Alesio, Ben Martin


As learning developers, we are constantly engaging with subject lecturers to discuss the learning needs of our students. This case study describes the creation of an academic literacy framework designed to engage subject lecturers and improve collaboration between them and the learning development team in order to develop the academic skills of students. Our aim was to create a tool that would achieve three complementary goals:

  • Help subject lecturers pinpoint where their students are placed along a spectrum of skills.
  • Allow lecturers to request, and/or learning developers to recommend, skills sessions at the most appropriate time.
  • Allow the learning development team to identify gaps in provision.

We used our experience as learning developers together with existing frameworks and schema to create a generic academic literacy framework for all disciplines. Because we perceived the HE level descriptors to be unsuitable for our needs, we aimed to create a framework that was not tied to specific levels. Once the framework was drafted, it was shared with other learning developers and subject academics to assess its suitability. This process provided results that confirmed we were moving towards an overall consensus and that the framework was fit for purpose.


Academic literacy framework; study skills; curriculum design; embedded skills; higher education; student experience

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ISSN: 1759-667X