Re-framing writing (support): centring audience and purpose in a community nursing course




This presentation examined the collaboration between our Learning Development team and a community nursing course. It began with the question; “Are our demands of students concerning paraphrasing and referencing reasonable?” The assignment was a formal report on a semester-long group project where students partnered with a community agency. The coordinators worried that students (and lecturers) were over emphasising referencing and the technicalities of paraphrasing, to the detriment of engagement with the community nursing process itself. Our LD team eventually realized that the problem was not one of expectations, but rather a genre-audience mismatch. Although the assignment was called a report, the emphasis on integrating scholarly sources made it more like an academic essay, and the tone and length of the report limited its practical use by most partner agencies. Over time, by emphasizing genre, audience and purpose, we have contributed to a gradual loosening of the hold on the original report format. Last year, we provided feedback on a range of digital deliverables, including infographics, videos, and mind maps, each one designed to meet the specific partner agency’s needs. Our model of providing feedback on the report during one-hour in-person meetings has also evolved into a flexible combination of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration with students. We continue to guide students towards thoughtful, transparent source use, but the conversations around referencing and paraphrasing are now more holistic. In this presentation, we’ll share how our discipline-external perspective has supported meaningful student learning about authentic (and impactful) writing for different contexts.

Author Biographies

Silvia Luisa Rossi, Mount Royal University

Silvia Rossi is a Writing and Learning Strategist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. Her primary role is to support students, through one-to-one consultations and group sessions, as they develop the skills, strategies and mindsets needed to become confident, self-directed learners and academic writers. Her background is in TESOL, and she takes a particular interest in helping students understand the intersection between academic integrity and transparent source use.

Lauren Cross, Mount Royal University

Lauren Cross is a Writing and Learning Strategist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. She has a background in English literature and professional editing, and she loves helping students build their confidence as writers and critical thinkers in 1-1, small group, and classroom settings. Lauren is interested in innovating embedded and scaffolded academic writing instruction, and she also helps coordinate supports for students and faculty working with non-traditional digital writing assignments.


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O'Neill, G. (2010) Initiating curriculum revision: exploring the practices of educational developers, International Journal for Academic Development, 15(1), 61-71, DOI: 10.1080/13601440903529927




How to Cite

Rossi, S. L. and Cross, L. (2022) “Re-framing writing (support): centring audience and purpose in a community nursing course”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (25). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi25.969.