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Thursday, June 23 • 13:45 - 14:45
CON07.10b - The Intersection between Professor Expectations and Student Interpretations of Academic Skills: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

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Numerous studies exist on how and to what extent course instructors in higher education are embedding or directly teaching writing, learning and research skills in their courses (Cilliers, 2011; Crosthwaite et al., 2006; and Mager and Sproken-Smith, 2014). Yet, disparity within the literature demonstrates that there is no consistent approach to the scaffolded development of these necessary skills within courses, programs, disciplines, or across disciplines. Preliminary research has also revealed that professor communication of expected or required student skills is often limited or unclear (McGuinnes, 2006).

Through a collaborative research project at the University of Guelph, we employed a multidisciplinary and multi-skill approach to explore the intersection between professor articulation and student interpretation of academic skills. Through this research, we have identified that, in the teaching and learning in third year university courses, discrepancies exist

a. between the learning, writing and research skills professors expect students to possess and the skills students think they possess when they enter the course;

b. in professor articulation of skills they will teach in their course and which skills they expect students to develop outside of class time;

c. in the skills students seek to develop based on their interpretation of the course outline; and

d. in students’ ability to identify necessary skills before and after taking these courses.

Based on these findings, we recommend that a curriculum-based approach to understanding the skill development needs of students can assist in bridging the gap between professor expectations and student interpretations of skill requirements.

Throughout this research presentation, we will present an overview of our research project; present our key findings; offer initial interpretations on student understandings of course outlines; demonstrate the value of cross-unit and cross-departmental collaborations; and offer recommendations and potential areas for further research. After our presentation, we will welcome dialogue and questions.

avatar for Melanie Parlette-Stewart

Melanie Parlette-Stewart

Digital Media Librarian, University of Guelph
Melanie Parlette-Stewart is the Digital Media Librarian at the University of Guelph Library. She provides eLearning support and online content to support student learning and library initiatives. She also coordinates the library’s Media Studio. Her research interests include digital... Read More →

Laura Schnablegger

Laura Schnablegger is an English-as-an-Additional Language Specialist working within the Writing Services unit of the Learning and Curriculum Support Team in McLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph. Laura has a Master of Arts - Integrated Studies, with specializations in Equity... Read More →

Thursday June 23, 2016 13:45 - 14:45 EDT
UCC 65