ICALLD Online Symposium: Collaboration in a changing environment

  • 01 Feb 2017
  • 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online

The Second ICALLD webinar brings together research and practice from around the Consortium, focusing on the different ways in which we, as academic language and learning developers, collaborate with colleagues across our institutions. Join us for a panel discussion to start the programme off and then stay to hear from colleagues in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

This event is organized by the International Consortium of Academic Language and Learning Developers.

Register on the ICALLD website.

Canadian Programme







UK papers







Louise Livesey – Change and collaboration: working with academic and student support staff, and educational developers

Claire Saunders – Embedding academic literacy: changing pedagogy and practice through ‘blended’ collaboration

Alexander Cuthbert – Caring for carers: a collaborative project to engage with specific learning needs

Panel discussion







Canada papers







Ethel Swartzendruber – The undergraduate experience matters!

Joannah O’Hatnick – A collaborative approach to supporting students’ development of presentation skills

New Zealand papers







Vanessa van der Ham – Supporting postgraduates in applied learning contexts

Julie Trafford – Engaging & empowering students to develop critical thinking capabilities

Martin McMorrow – Two cheers for one to ones

Australia papers







Kim Cole – Engaging online learning with GoAnimate

Janine Rutledge – Novice writers and graduate writing: what the heck?


Change and collaboration: working with academic and student support staff, and educational developers

Presenter: Louise Livesey

The Academic Skills team at [university] offers study skills support to all students using many delivery methods. We actively encourage other staff to work with us leading to an increase in collaboration with various teams and faculties on different strategies and modules.

Three of these have used different modes of collaboration on a ‘spectrum’ of methodology. The first involved structured discussion and task-allocation with a Life Science Module Leader, education developers and a librarian. Another dealt with a student awareness strategy developed from group of student support staff using semi-structured discussions. Finally, free-form conversations concerning module development with the Module Leader from a Media course were held.

The collaborations’ objectives were achieved leading to the changes intended, i.e. successful implementation of the Life Science module (with 100% pass rate) and that of Media course (results not yet in); and a greater number of students being accessed. What wasn’t expected was not only how much I enjoyed these collaborations but also the change in myself: I improved my ability to communicate in a group setting, increased my knowledge of colleagues’ roles, and also furthered my an understanding of the curriculum development process.

Embedding Academic Literacy: Changing pedagogy and practice through 'blended' collaboration

Presenter: Claire Saunders

This ongoing project is investigating the use of a blended community of practice as a model for professional development. Initial work with a small team of academic staff from several different disciplines has centred on an identified need for a shift in pedagogy and practice related to the development of students' academic literacy. Central to the project is a collaborative process of activity development, trial and review undertaken by the project team to produce a toolkit of reusable, adaptable learning objects that can be embedded in subject teaching to support students’ academic literacy development.

What are the benefits of this kind of collaboration? The workshop will give participants the opportunity to explore the process together: we will identify our priorities, develop resources and exchange feedback through a series of activities that mirror the early work of the blended community of practice. This will enable us to reflect together on the potential of a blended community of practice to offer a creative space for collaboration between learning developers and academic staff in order to bring about significant change in pedagogy and practice.

Caring for Carers': a collaborative project to engage with specific learning development needs

Presenter: Alexander Cuthbert

Student carers are four times more likely not to complete a degree than their peers (Universities Scotland, 2015), and a recent study found that 45% of young adult carers experienced mental health issues (Carers’ Trust, 2016). There is an urgent need, then, to better understand how to support these students.

In June 2015, the [institution] Widening Access Team and Study Skills Service supported a student-led (ALDinHe funded) investigation of the specific learning development needs of student carers. The project’s central aim was to investigate potential barriers that students with caring responsibilities may encounter, and to create resources to help minimise their negative impact. Its secondary aim was to establish how the university could better inform staff regarding the experiences of student carers. This resulted in a guide to supporting student carers being produced, in addition to a signposting document intended to inform institutional policy and practice.

A review of literature, key findings, and subsequent staff and student resources, were authored by a research intern recruited on the basis of their first-hand experience as a student carer. This paper offers an overview of the project’s background and development, a summary of its six key findings, and a review of its outputs. The paper closes by offering a reflective account of a practitioner’s experience of collaborative working with learners to facilitate positive (research focused) learning scenarios while also attempting to foster a collegiate relationship appropriate to the co-construction of learning development resources.

The Undergraduate Experience Matters!

Presenter: Ethel Swartzendruber

The first four years of college and the way a student experiences that time can directly influence the degree of satisfaction for graduate students. What happens in this arena impacts what happens in the next. Using the results of the Gallup-Purdue study, participants will be able to see the correlation between an engaging undergraduate experience and a satisfying post-graduation experience. Based on a Web survey of nearly 30,000 college graduates in 2014, there are six indicators that are predictors of success and satisfaction beyond college:

  • Having a professor who made me excited about learning

  • Having a professor who cared about me as a person

  • Having a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams

  • Working on a project that took a semester or more to complete

  • Having an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom

  • Being active in extracurricular activities or organizations

These indicators were the same for all the institutions – public or private, small or large, very selective or less selective. The survey results show that support and experiences in college had more of a relationship to long-term outcomes for the graduates who responded. If these six indicators were in place, their odds of being engaged at work more than doubled. That’s pretty significant! So this begs the question: What can we do to make sure more students get these experiences?

For this 15-minute presentation, I’ll briefly explain the Gallop-Purdue Poll and outline the results showing how a campus job like that of a SI leader provides all 6 indicators. And then I’ll ask the questions: How can we make more of or all of these predictors of success happen for more students? How can better coordination among staff and faculty make the undergraduate experience count?

A Collaborative Approach to Supporting Students’ Development of Presentation Skills

Presenter: Joannah O’Hatnick

How do students build their presentation skills throughout their time at university? How do we, as academic language and learning developers, assist students in the development of those skills? In this session, we will explore how one university’s learning support unit has helped students develop their academic presentation skills through several means, including individual appointments, in-class guest lectures, workshop series, and other venues. We will focus in detail on the development of Presentation Boot Camp (PBC), an all-day (and, at times, a multi-day) workshop designed for graduate students. Conference participants will be encouraged to share their approaches to providing support for students – undergraduate and graduate students, native and English as an Additional Language students – in developing the academic presentation skills required for postsecondary education.

Supporting postgraduates in applied learning contexts

Presenter: Vanessa van der Ham

Demand for graduates who can navigate the complexities and ambiguities of the working world has contributed to an increasing shift to problem-based assignments at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels of study. This presentation describes embedded support provided in three Masters level professional practice papers designed to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and practice by requiring students to work in a professional capacity for a specified period during which they are required to identify a problem in their host organisations, critically evaluate solutions to the problem, and communicate these solutions in a format which satisfies the requirements of a Masters research project and is also suitable for presentation to the host company.

Engaging & empowering students to develop critical thinking capabilities

Presenter: Dr Julie Trafford

Abstract: “Tertiary educators are tasked with engaging and empowering diverse learners to develop critical, reflective and reflexive thinking capabilities. This raises both opportunities and challenges: tensions emerge between skills development and capability building; generic and context specific notions of critical thinking; and introductory verses advanced level expectations. This session will explore how we might effectively engage and empower students to become effective critical thinkers and communicators. Participants will be invited to participate in, reflect on, discuss and critique several activities designed to promote a disposition towards becoming an effective critical thinker.”

Two cheers for one to ones

Presenter: Martin McMorrow,

This presentation draws on data from a three-year action research project at a NZ university. It indicates a number of benefits for teaching and learning arising from the much-maligned practice of generic one-to-one consultations.

Engaging Online Learning with GoAnimate

Presenter: Kimberly Cole

At the University of Canberra, Study Skills, part of the Student Success Directorate, have been trialling the use of the video animation software GoAnimate to create innovative learning resources. The aim is to enhance the existing SCORM interactive learning modules with shorter, engaging videos that students can access as on-demand, just-in-time support for specific study skills including Oral Presentations, Group Work, Essay Writing and Plagiarism.

GoAnimate is an online subscription video creation service with a large choice of customisable avatars with automatic lip-syncing and a range of industry and occupation-specific themes. Text can be added in a variety of styles and animations and the characters are dynamic, with numerous motions and poses.

We are currently integrating GoAnimate videos into some of our interactive SCORM learning resources on the Study Help Moodle site. These contain assessment items, for example quizzes, drag and drop activities and hot-spots, allowing students to apply their learning of the module content.

In this 15 minute presentation we will showcase brief clips showing how we are utilising our GoAnimate videos and explain the creation process. GoAnimate is an easy to use program that allows educators to deliver engaging online content.

Participants will learn:

  1. What is GoAnimate.

  2. How GoAnimate can be used to create engaging learning objects.

  3. How GoAnimate videos can be embedded into other learning resources.

Novice writers and graduate writing: what the heck?

Presenter: Janine Rutledge

Graduate business programs attract students that are highly motivated and high functioning. These students are successful in their organisations, holding positions of responsibility in middle or senior management. This level of success allows these students entry into post graduate programs, often eliminating the prerequisite of an undergraduate degree. Therefore, classes consist of students with a diverse range of academic writing backgrounds including novice writers. While learning advisors consider writing at the post graduate level to be challenging and complex, for these students, it is often a ‘novel undertaking’ (Lavelle and Bushrow 2007). Several weeks into their first trimester, many students experience feelings of hopelessness and frustration regarding their ability to complete their first written assignment. What kind of support can learning advisors offer? When should it be provided? This investigation considers the work of Lavelle and Bushrow (2007). We adapt their psychometric model of graduate writing processes, and recreate our own inventory for this research project. Our inventory provides unexpected insights into the reality of novice writer values, beliefs, and behaviours. Results reveal that being grade driven and having individualistic learning expectations creates complexity and challenges for the provision of relevant and timely support.
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