Library launches e-modules on academic writing
On Monday 6 September the University Library is launching a suite of six e-modules on Moodle to help undergraduates enhance their academic writing skills. The project team, Royal Literary Fund Fellow, Dr Trevor Day, working with Linda Humphreys, Science Faculty Librarian, and Dr Bridgette Duncombe, Chemistry’s Director of Studies, has devised a range of modules that tackle many aspects of academic writing that undergraduates find most challenging.
Teaching staff are encouraged to view the modules and consider how, and if, they might incorporate them in their teaching to help students develop key skills. The modules are intended to be used independently by students or in staff-led sessions and are available at http://moodle.bath.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=51106. Constructive feedback is welcomed and each module has an evaluation survey form for this purpose. The feedback – from students and staff – will inform the evaluation of the project and will help shape the suite’s further development.
The modules aim to embody best practice while at the same time recognising that disciplines vary in their writing conventions. It is vital that students use the modules alongside checking the specific requirements in their own discipline.
Explained Trevor Day, ‘The six modules offer a rich environment for tackling a range of writing challenges, from writing essays or practical reports and constructing academic arguments, to the nuts and bolts of selecting sources, citing and referencing, and avoiding plagiarism. It has been invaluable working with library and academic staff to ensure that our designs reflect good practice. Dozens of people have volunteered their time to contribute to the modules, and to advise us and check our work.’
Gwen van der Velden, Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, added ‘This project has revealed how a small amount of funding can have a big impact on a recognised need.’ The project was funded by the University’s Teaching Development Fund with in-kind support from the Library. Information librarians Christian Wentzell and Chang He implemented the e-module designs.
The e-modules are:
• Critically evaluating what you read
• Writing an essay
• Writing a practical report
• Getting your argument across
• How to avoid plagiarism, and
• Citing and referencing.