Title

Investigating student use and value of e-learning resources to develop academic writing within the discipline of environmental science

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Taffs, KH & Holt, JI 2013, 'Investigating student use and value of e-learning resources to develop academic writing within the discipline of environmental science', Journal of Geography in Higher Education, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 500-514.

Published version available from:

http://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2013.801012

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in higher education to support student learning is expanding. However, student usage has been low and the value of e-learning resources has been under investigation. We reflect on best practices for pedagogical design of e-learning resources to support academic writing in environmental science. A case study demonstrates that where resources are embedded into the curriculum they are highly valued by students with on average 83% of the class accessing files. Students were confident at writing tasks indicating that the resources effectively met their needs and expectations and enabled them to further develop discipline-specific writing skills. Scaffolded e-learning resources, designed around the identified threshold concepts of writing within the discipline, incorporating a knowledge narrative of explicit instruction and a strong teacher presence, delivered in a sequential manner and embedded into the curriculum, are valued and highly used by students in academic writing tasks.