An "enlightening course that empowers first years"?: a holistic assessment of the impact of a first-year academic literacy course
Van Dyk, Tobie
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This article reports on a study which assessed the impact of an academic literacy course on students' academic literacy levels. A combination of instruments suggested in an evaluation design by Fouché, Van Dyk and Butler (2016) was drawn on. Firstly, a pre-test/post-test design was used with three instruments, namely a valid and reliable academic literacy test, a writing assignment which was assessed by means of a rubric, and a quantitative assessment of the same writing assessment. Secondly, a student questionnaire was used to determine whether the abilities addressed in the course are those relevant to students' content subjects, and to which extent relevant abilities are addressed in the academic literacy course. Finally, students' academic literacy results were correlated with their marks in other subjects. Findings indicate that the academic literacy course comprehensively and effectively addresses a wide range of academic literacy abilities, though areas such as avoiding plagiarism and academic vocabulary range need further attention. The impact of this course seems to be much more pronounced after a year than after one semester. In addition to sharing the outcomes of this evaluation with the reader, the study further aims to highlight challenges of such an evaluation study to future researchers.
- Faculty of Humanities