Embedding Academic Skills into Unit Curricula

2016 Project Overview

This HEPP funded project seeks to embed academic skills into the curriculum of selected first year units to provide students with focused academic skills support. The units have students with a high proportion of first in family and students from low socio-economic (SES) backgrounds. The project aims to embed academic skills within these units to improve student retention and completion rates.

Embedding or integrating resources into the unit curriculum provides students with immediate access to support resources specifically designed for that unit. Design teams with staff from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Academic Skills, Academic Practice and Digital Resources) and staff from the Library will work alongside the Unit Assessors to design and develop unit based resources.

This project aims to support the embedding of academic skills by:

  • Reviewing the level of embedding and resources provided in the three units, identify areas for improvement, and to design new, modify or use current academic skills resources where possible.
  • Developing project web resources to enhance understanding of how to embed academic skills within units across Schools.

The project commenced in July, 2016 and is due to be completed in December, 2016.

2015 Project Summary

The project first started in 2015 where a Unit Assessor from each of the participating Schools held monthly meetings with a design team. The aim was to analyse, design, develop and start to embed unit based academic skills support strategies.

Using the recommendations discussed and developed by each team, and as guided by the Unit Assessors, the design teams used different approaches to engage first year students. Unit Assessors commented that they favoured this design approach as it was more effective to have expertise from the different perspectives in the discussions.

See the resource Embedding Academic Skills into Undergraduate Curricula (pdf) to find out more on embedding academic skills support including recent and past examples from HEPP funded projects.