Please cite as: Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. Using literacy tools and strategies as a foundation to enhance students' learning and study success.
Paper presented at The New Zealand Association of Bridging Educatiors: 2008 Conference.
Students’ learning and study success are at the heart of education provision. A strong concern in this context is how to enable staff to assist students more effectively in their learning journey and in their participation in the community, especially those learners who are facing difficulties in engaging with the literacy and numeracy demands of their programmes. The potential gap of course demands and student skills is at the centre of a programme initiative at Unitec New Zealand, which is at the same time concerned with curriculum redevelopment and wider institutional initiatives.
It has been identified that an integrated approach to combine content learning with literacy and numeracy skills enhances students’ learning and study success in terms of retention, completion and stair-casing into higher levels of learning. Capability building that engages staff and helps them to review their methodology is an essential ingredient for supporting tutors in implementing best practice into their every-day teaching strategies.
Tools and strategies for integrating and embedding literacy and numeracy as part of the teaching and learning experience are available but not always accessible to teaching staff. The Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation (CTLI) at Unitec New Zealand is working closely with staff to introduce appropriate strategies and tools which can be easily integrated into courses whilst taking into account the needs identified by each school for their specific learners.
This paper is based on an initiative between Automotive Engineering staff and CTLI. At this stage, eleven literacy and numeracy related tools, sourced from a variety of places, have been chosen to demonstrate best practice in collaborative and interactive contextualised workshops. The presenter will showcase three tools and conference participants are then invited to critique and discuss in small groups if and how these tools could be adapted to fit within their context of teaching and learning. Thoughts and opinions will then be collected and discussed in the large group. The theory informing the literacy tools and strategies and the workshop delivery (including the iterative cycle of evaluation and improvement of the workshops in response to participant feedback) will be shared with conference participants to conclude the session.