Impact assessment of academic support provided by tertiary learning advisors
sharing an endeavour
Keywords:learning advising, academic support, impact assessment
In New Zealand higher education (HE), there is a lack of consistent ways of collecting evidence of the impact made by academic literacy support from Tertiary Learning Advisors (TLAs) on students’ academic performance, retention, and success. TLAs in New Zealand and Australia are primarily involved in providing learning support to students in post-secondary education to encourage development of their academic literacy and essential study skills. They are professional educators who advise students on issues related to academic writing and other academic skills, such as time management or exam preparation, to facilitate achievement of students’ goals of tertiary study (Griffith University, 2021). While it may be recognised that provision of learning support is desirable for a meaningful and successful HE experience for many students, hard evidence that learning support makes a difference to student retention and academic performance is difficult to find (Acheson, 2006, as cited in Breen and Prothero, 2015).
This presentation sought to share an attempt to address this issue by investigating the impact of embedded academic literacy support provided by TLAs to three cohorts of students enrolled in undergraduate social work and early childhood education programs at my ITP (Institute of Technology and Polytechnic) in Auckland, New Zealand. Existing research in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom suggests that support that embeds academic literacy development in disciplines, rather than academic support that is generic and/or provided through foundation courses, represents a best practice model (Glew et al., 2019).
Bartram, J. [@jaxbartram]. (2023, June 13). Another visual representation of some of Friday’s online offering. Mona Malik from Manukua Inst of Tech in NZ presented some initial findings looking at the impact of Tertiary Learning Advisors (LDers). #ALDcon23 [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/jaxbartram/status/1668302583516082205
Breen, F. and Prothero, M. (2015). Students and Learning Advisors connecting? Impact on student retention and success. ATLAANZ Journal, 1(1), 77-92. https://doi.org/10.26473/ATLAANZ.2015.1.1/005
Glew, P. J., Ramjan, L. M., Salasa, M., Rapera, K., Creeda, H. and Salamonson, Y. (2019). Relationships between academic literacy support, student retention and academic performance. Nurse Education in Practice,39, 61-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2019.07.011
Griffith University (2021, June 29). Who is a Learning Advisor? https://studenthelp.secure.griffith.edu.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/1735/~/what-is-a%02learning-adviser%3F
Sebolai, K. and Dzansi, D.Y. (2015). Measuring the Impact of an Academic Literacy Programme at a South African University of Technology. International Journal of Educational Sciences, 10(2), 248-255. https://doi.org/10.1080/09751122.2015.1191765
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