A quote from James Gee
Academic areas are not first and foremost bodies of facts, they are, rather, first and foremost, the ways and activities of knowing through which such facts are generated, defended and modified. Such activities and ways of knowing are carried out by people who adopt certain sorts of identities, that is adopt certain ways with words, actions and interactions as well as certain values, attitudes and beliefs.
Hence the importance of academic literacies, they allow you to participate in 'ways and activities of knowing.' In academic setting this (broadly) means understanding questions asked in a discipline, finding information to answer those questions, interpreting and organising the information and presenting the information.
Making this activity explicit to learners would help them to understand a central part of tertiary study.Framework
While acknowledging that literacies are specific to a discipline as per the Gee quote, we would argue that there is a generic process of enquiry which gives us a framework that applies across disciplines. This process, in simple terms, is made up of 6 steps -
1. we start with a question, something that needs explaining or answering
2. we search for information or generate data
3. we evaluate that information or data
4. we organise the information/data in terms of the question
5. we interpret what we've found
6. finally we present it in some way
Information literacy is a substantial component of this process.
Despite the fact that this process of enquiry is central to tertiary study - we use it to write academic articles, frame our lectures and require it in assignments - we seldom make it explicit to students. The aim of this forum is to explore how we can do this.Resources
Adeliade University has developed a Research Framework using similar steps to the 6 above and mapping research across different levels. This is a handy way to decide if you are assessing academic literacies at an appropriate level. If you click on the boxes in the table you get given a range of exemplars from different Universities and disciplines on how to embed academic literacies. Go herehttp://www.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/rsd/framework/The Assessment Tool - TEC's diagnostic
Most of you will be aware of the Assessment Tool that TEC is trialling this year. It was originally designed to test reading, writing and numeracy in programmes at levels 1-3, but there is a great deal of interest in using it with students at levels 4 and 5. If you'd like to have a look at the tool and have access to it for next year, please get in touch with Bettina Schwenger, Trisha Hanifin or Mark Smith and we can show you the ropes.
To use the tool effectively you'll need to get a handle on how it works and how to set it up, you'll need to engage with TEC's 'Progressions' so you know what the different levels in the tool mean and finally you'll need to respond to the results of your learners by including deliberate acts of teaching on literacy.
Go here for more information on the toolhttp://literacyandnumeracyforadults.com/
and here for resources on the progressionshttp://literacyandnumeracyforadults.com/Learning-progressions
We can help you with questions you have.Digital literacies
Diana Ayling drew attention to this report "Digital Information Literacy: what is it and how do you get it?" in a recent blog. In case you didn't see it go here - http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/community/recommended-resources-ako-aotearoa/resources/pages/digital-information-literacy-what-it-an