Constructing an academic skills toolkit for embedding academic practices
Keywords:academic skills toolkit, academic skills, embedded learning development, academic staff, teaching and learning, activities
This case study explores the successes and challenges experienced while creating the Learning Development Toolkit (LDT) for use by academic staff at London South Bank University (LSBU). Based on similar initiatives at Queen Mary University of London (2016) and the University of Derby (2021). LSBU’s LDT is a database of formative academic skills activities which are available for academic staff to adapt and deliver during lectures and seminars. The case study opens by explaining LSBU’s institutional context, including our Educational Framework, and the Centre for Research Informed Teaching’s (CRIT) role in supporting various features: employability, embedded learning development, pedagogy, inclusivity and assessment. The case study also discusses LSBU’s student profile, namely that we have a large proportion of students from non-traditional academic backgrounds. As such, the LDT’s activities have been designed to enhance students’ criticality, analysis and confidence in their academic writing in a more general sense. The LDT is freely available to academic staff on LSBU’s intranet, but our team can advise on its implementation by discussing ways to tailor activities to a given session with individual academics. The LDT has five key areas: critical thinking development, quantitative analysis development, reading development, reflective development and writing development. The case study describes the elements within the LDT and explains how it was developed, tested and revised. It discusses the difficulties faced with building the LDT within LSBU’s existing IT framework but outlines how it ultimately succeeded in generating a comprehensive database of tasks to support student .
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