The good, the bad and the interesting: integrating a third-party provider into ALL services at a regional university

Barber, Rachel (2020) The good, the bad and the interesting: integrating a third-party provider into ALL services at a regional university. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 14 (1). 661. pp. 54-67.

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Supporting students in their learning while transitioning into university has always been a key responsibility of academic language and learning (ALL) professionals. However, the changing demands for ALL support in the contemporary tertiary environment has required a shift in practice. Over the last eight years, one regional university has redefined the role of learning advisors by taking a whole of institution approach to ALL development and pursuing a multilayered model for practice that builds staff capacity and develops confident, agentic learners. As part of a diversified suite of activities, the university has engaged the services of a third-party provider to provide after-hours, online tutorial support to students. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study conducted by the university in 2018, which evaluates the impact of the diversification of ALL services on the practices of ALL professionals, including the benefits and challenges of using third-party providers. The study revealed that while there are some benefits, learning advisors and academic staff expressed reservations about the provider’s effectiveness and usefulness. Findings suggest that students need clarification about the different feedback services available to them and guidance on seeking, interpreting, and applying feedback. The study highlights the need to carefully plan the integration of third-party services within a broader framework of feedback processes and offers insights into how ALL practitioners can best guide students and staff to appropriately use third-party services while avoiding the pitfalls.

Item ID: 64998
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1835-5196
Keywords: third-party providers; online academic support; academic language and learning; academic literacies; learning advisors; student support; tertiary teaching and learning.
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Copyright Information: © 2020 R. Barber. This article is freely available via the publisher's website.
Funders: Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL)
Projects and Grants: AALL Commissioned Research Grant 2017
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2021 08:19
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3999 Other Education > 399999 Other education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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