The Effectiveness of Academic Literacy Courses in Postsecondary Institutions in Ontario: The Development of an Evaluation Tool


Academic literacy classes in postsecondary institutions are vital in advancing students' literacy skills and, thus, enabling students' capacity to endure and prevail in advanced education. However, lower literacy levels have been an issue for many students that enter or attend postsecondary studies. Institutions have noted that some students fail to meet the demands of postsecondary education as they lack basic knowledge and literacy skills. In postsecondary academic programs, students are expected to possess skills prior to beginning their studies, and students are also expected to develop specific skills while completing their academic programs. Many underprepared students may not meet the academic literacy demands of postsecondary studies. To address this, academic institutions have mandated that students attend and complete specific academic literacy courses to support student needs and provide students with the necessary literacy tools to cope with the academic capacity requirements of university and college programs. In response to this, academic literacy courses were created to assist students in developing the literacy skills needed to participate in university and college programs successfully. The study being presented investigated a sizeable postsecondary institution in Ontario, Canada and examined the structure of a fourteen-week academic literacy course held during the first semester. The study focused on these courses, identifying gaps and developing a method of evaluating course effectiveness. Moreover, recommendations are made to improve courses to ensure students develop the necessary skills to complete their academic studies. Part of this study applies and repurposes the Measuring the Academic Skills of University Students.

Author Information
Mira Kapetanovic, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: ECADE2022
Stream: Academic Practices Outside the Classroom

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon