Scholarly practice the Australian way: an academic skills course for postgraduate students

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CONFERENCE: 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (4APCEI)

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Wahlstrom, Kirsten; Johnston, Helen; Steketee, Chris
conference paper description
International students in postgraduate coursework degrees experience many challenges in adapting to Australian writing conventions. Too often comprehending and meeting referencing requirements for assignments has proved challenging, and has cost students dearly in terms of academic success and lost face. A new pedagogical approach is needed. In this paper we describe a course which fosters inclusivity and communication. The course focuses on academic, professional and information literacies, and its design acknowledges that Australian scholarly practice is unfamiliar to many students. Our pedagogical approach is dialogic, involving students in many and various learning activities. Acknowledgement of students’ prior experience, cultural difference and transitional needs is integral to classroom discussion. We present evidence of the course’s success in meeting its goals including the adoption of Western academic conventions, and of high student satisfaction. The course is being adapted to other disciplines.