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Most postgraduate students will have developed research and writing skills while undertaking their undergraduate degree, yet many still find it challenging to meet the expected high standards of independent research and thesis writing. In this video, Michelle describes a project undertaken by Student Learning Support and the School of Psychological Sciences to support students in the Master of Psychology (Clinical) at ACAP, and supported by a Learning and Teaching Grant.
The project involved creating a research and writing support site covering topics such as Developing Your Research Proposal, Writing Your Literature Review, and Publishing and Presenting Your Research. Michelle discusses how the team developed the site to complement existing support, showcase some of the resources, and explain how the effectiveness of the project will be measured.
The development of a research and writing support site for students
Research and writing support
for postgraduate students
Manager, English Language Proficiency and
Team Leader, Student Learning Support, NPI
“Most postgraduate students will have
developed research and writing skills
while undertaking their undergraduate
degree, yet many still find it challenging
to meet the expected high standards of
independent research and thesis writing.
PG students come
varying levels of
about and may
PG students need
to develop new
a large volume of
PG students often
(O’Mahony et al., 2013))
The aims of the
1. To support student development
of key academic skills to enhance
achievement and promote quality
research theses and presentations.
2. To ensure consistency of support
and shared understandings about
requirements and standards.
3. To create a learning community
and encourage discussion and
support among research students.
Online approaches to academic
◎ Available 24/7 to all students at their point of need and can
be used many times over for reference and reinforcement
◎ Encourages personal responsibility for skill development
◎ Reaches more students that face-to-face models
◎ Exploits the potential of new technologies to offer
interactive, connected and multimedia learning objects
◎ Minimises the stress and ‘bottlenecks’ of requests for
support at peak times
◎ Helps provide consistent messages, shared understandings
and equitable support for all students
(Chanock, 2013; Gunn et al., 2011)
Development of the site
SLS and SoPS staff discussed content
Exisitng resources and key issues
collected from SoPS staff
Content written and recorded
Place your screenshot here
Let’s take a look!
◎ Developing your research proposal
◎ Searching the literature
◎ Writing your literature review
◎ Working with your supervisor
◎ Writing your manuscript
◎ Refining your writing
◎ Presenting your research
Each ‘module’ contains downloadable resources, useful
links and engaging videos.
Pedagogical and design principles
◎ Contextualised resources that align with existing support
◎ Scaffolded activities and exercises that offer practial
guidance and strategies
◎ Model texts that explicitly analyse key features of
structure and language and examples of what acceptable
student writing might look like (Kokkin & Mahar, 2011)
◎ Audio-visual information to facilitate deeper learning (Clark
& Mayer, 2008)
◎ A ‘social presence’ so that the students experience real
people online (Chanock, 2013)
◎ Limited amount of information on each page to minimise
the amount of scrolling
Evaluation of the site
since the site went live on October 30
‘Identifying a possible
is the most clicked page with 17 hits
15 students have accessed the site
out of 23 enrolled in the page
Most clicked pages
Identifying a possible research project 17
Developing your research proposal 16
Conducting a preliminary review of the
Understanding supervision: Roles and
Working with your supervisor 10
Find me on Yammer or email me:
Chanock, K. (2013). Teaching subject literacies through blended learning: Reflections on a
collaboration between academic learning staff and teachers in the disciplines. Journal of
Academic Language and Learning, 7(2), A106-A119.
Clark, R. & Mayer, R. (2008). E-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for
consumers and designers of multimedia learning (2nd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Gunn, C., Hearne, S., & Sibthorpe, J. (2011). Right from the start: A rationale for embedding
academic literacy skills in university courses. Journal of University Teaching & Learning
Practice, 8(1), 1-10.
Kokkinn, B. A., & Mahar, C. (2011). Partnerships for student success: Integrated development of
academic and information literacies across disciplines. Journal of Academic Language and
Learning, 5(2), A118-A130.
O’Mahony, B., Verezub, E., Dalrymple, J., & Bertone, S. (2013). An evaluation of research students’
writing support intervention. Journal of International Education in Business, 6(1), 22-34.
Special thanks to the people who made and released this PowerPoint template for free – it’s
much better than anything I could’ve come up with:
◎ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival
◎ Photographs by Unsplash & Death to the Stock Photo (license)
◎ Dark wood background by The pattern library