Academic skills development: changing attitudes through a community of practice

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Newell-Jones, K, Osborne, D & Massey, D 2005, 'Academic skills development: changing attitudes through a community of practice', Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 1-10.


This paper examines the experiences of a particular group within the School of Health and Social Care as it created a community of practice in response to an intertiol concern around students' academic skills' development and support in higher education. This Academic Skills Development Group generated a range of activities including small staff and student surveys that led to a wider exploration of the prevalent perceptions of literacies' development and the culture of learning in which this was being sustained. Embracing a community of practice approach, the group, underpinned by the emergent literature, was able to challenge existing approaches to academic skills' support across pre-registration, post-qualifying, and postgraduate courses. Initiatives included workshops, consultation in the school's strategic plan and also attempts to impact more fundamentally on the culture of learning within the school. The paper highlights some of the obstacles and complexities encountered when attempting to define academic skills and develop effective support systems.

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