What is the Academic Skills Model and who will use it?

The Academic Skills Model (ASM) is a framework to inform the work undertaken by Library and Learning Services (LLS) in partnering with the academic community to embed academic, information, and digital literacies within Griffith’s coursework cohorts.

The ASM is the mechanism by which academics and LLS specialists can assign levels of literacy when developing embedded workshops and digital resources for programs and courses. It facilitates a discussion between LLS and academics in mapping the ASM literacies to set learning outcomes and assessment.

The Academic Skills Model is licensed under an Attribution CC BY NC Version 4.0 International licence. You are free to use this material for non-commercial purposes as long as you reference Library and Learning Services, Griffith University as the creator.

Where does the ASM align with University wide goals?

The ASM is underpinned by the Griffith Graduate Attributes and the Five Senses of Success developed by Professor Alf Lizzio.  It helps to develop transferable skills through the literacies which may assist in employability outcomes – for example, critical analysis of text; awareness of communication channels and audience; and engagement with digital tools, online identity, and  responsibilities.

How is it designed?

The literacies were developed and informed by a number of sources to create a developmental structure which aligns with the Griffith University context. The following ASM levels assist in assigning literacy levels to learning outcomes and assessment.

Scaffolded: Students require high levels of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
Supported: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
Supervised: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a discipline area
Independent: Students independently develop literacies within a discipline

Academic Skills Workbook

The future workforce will require Griffith graduates to develop and apply the academic, information and digital literacies presented in this student-centred PebblePad workbook. It also provides a detailed explanation of the academic skills required to develop an ePortfolio, and the employability skills necessary to cultivate a professional network.

Transferable Skills Workbook

Transferable Skills underpin the Griffith Graduate Attributes and enable Griffith Graduates to respond to a changing workforce, enhance their employability outcomes and equip them with the requisite skills to be future-ready.

Academic Literacies

Academic literacies are a set of skills and knowledge necessary for effective thinking and communicating in an academic context. They are essential for academic and employment success.

The table below provides examples of how each skill might appear at one of the following four levels of experience, roughly correlating with a student's progress through their undergraduate degree.

  • Scaffolded: Students require high levels of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
  • Supported: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
  • Supervised: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a discipline area
  • Independent: Students independently develop literacies within a discipline
 

Literacies

 Read and evaluate academicallyExtract relevant information and make notesAnalyse and respond to questionsApply and synthesise informationOrganise and communicate information to reportCollaborate and interact in a variety of settings
Scaffolded Students display some understanding and knowledge of the topic area to use evaluated information to clarify purpose. Students identify relevant information and make notes to summarise and paraphrase what they consider important. Students respond to stimulus and respond to the topic to develop new understanding. Students recall previous knowledge by applying and synthesising some discipline specific information. Students use simple guidelines to organise and communicate information to a known academic audience. Students listen and are moderately involved in physical and virtual learning spaces and group work.
Supported Students understand and display knowledge of the topic area to use evaluated information to clarify purpose and expectations. Students identify relevant information and make notes by paraphrasing, and summarizing and interpreting materials paying attention to discipline-specific language. Students respond to stimulus and to the subject with relevance and some analysis. Students rearrange previous knowledge by applying and synthesising discipline specific information. Students use simple formats from a particular viewpoint to organise and communicate information to an academic audience. Students listen and are involved in physical and virtual learning spaces and in selected groups.
Supervised Students understand knowledge of the discipline to use evaluated information effectively. Students identify relevant information and make notes through targeted transcribing, paraphrasing, summarising and expanding, competently using the language of the discipline. Students analyse and respond to own research topic in their field of knowledge. Students recall previous knowledge by applying and synthesising some discipline specific information. Students use an appropriate format to organise and communicate information from multiple perspectives for a self-selected audience. Students listen effectively and actively participate in physical and virtual learning spaces and collaborate in self-selected work groups and networks.
Independent Students have extensive knowledge of the discipline and independently evaluate information effectively. Students identify important information and make notes through strategic transcribing, summarising, paraphrasing and elaborating confidently using the language of the discipline. Students competently generate researchable stimulus and respond to the field with scholarly relevance and in-depth analysis. Students identify gaps in discipline. Students apply and synthesise discipline specific information to strengthen their discipline knowledge. Students use an appropriate genre to organise and communicate information from multiple perspectives for an array of audience types. Students physically and virtually collaborate professionally in self-selected work groups and networks.

Information Literacies

Information literacy is a critical lifelong learning skill. It requires individuals to recognise when information is needed and to develop the ability to locate, manage, synthesize , evaluate, communicate, and use information effectively and with integrity.

The table below provides examples of how each skill might appear at one of the following four levels of experience, roughly correlating with a student's progress through their undergraduate degree.

  • Scaffolded: Students require high levels of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
  • Supported: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
  • Supervised: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a discipline area
  • Independent: Students independently develop literacies within a discipline
 
 

Literacies

 Identify Information NeedAccess InformationEvaluate informationManage InformationEthical scholarship by referencing sources
Scaffolded Students demonstrate the information need and personal knowledge gap. Students locate applicable information using prescribed texts and strategies. Students locate applicable information using prescribed texts and strategies. Students organise information using prescribed structures and record bibliographic information. Students acknowledge information sources using prescribed methods.
Supported Students identify their information need and personal knowledge gap. Students locate applicable information using self-selected texts and strategies. Students evaluate information resources using criteria related to the topic area. Students use prescribed, information management processes to organise and record bibliographic information and find patterns in information related to their topic. Students ethically interpret information and acknowledge information sources for their topic using prescribed methods.
Supervised Students identify research questions, knowledge gaps and information sources that will satisfy the research questions. Students locate applicable information using negotiated search guidelines and a range of search strategies. Students evaluate information resources using self-developed criteria based on information need that also incorporates social and cultural influences on information creation. Students can select and use self-determined information management processes to organise and record unstructured bibliographic information. Students apply & understand author rights, ethically interpret and acknowledge information using methods appropriate for their discipline.
Independent Students identify research questions, their knowledge gaps, assess their information need and assess information sources that will satisfy their needs. Students locate and use sophisticated search strategies to locate applicable information. Students evaluate information resources based on their experience, knowledge and information need, including social and cultural influences on information creation. Students create and adapt information management processes to suit their needs for organising and recording unstructured information. Students consistently, ethically and legally manage and acknowledge information using methods appropriate for their discipline or publishing purpose.

Digital Literacies

Digital literacies, “rather than digital technologies or digital competence … involve finding, using and disseminating information in a digital world” (Owen, 2013). They interrelate with the academic and information literacies and move from foundational, functional use of digital tools through to the development of digital identity, collaboration, ethics and wellbeing.

The table below provides examples of how each skill might appear at one of the following four levels of experience, roughly correlating with a student's progress through their undergraduate degree.

  • Scaffolded: Students require high levels of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
  • Supported: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a topic area
  • Supervised: Students require some level of scaffolding to develop literacy within a discipline area
  • Independent: Students independently develop literacies within a discipline
 
 

Literacies

 Access and use digital technologiesEvaluate digital technologies are fit for purposeSustainably manage and store digital resourcesEthically gathering and processing data using technologiesCommunicate and collaborate using technologies
Scaffolded Students access and use digital technologies including network and media devices, a range of apps and specialist software or hardware. Students access software to prepare and communicate data for academic purposes. Students access digital environments with some awareness of storage responsibilities and make some attempts to adapt to changing technologies. Students use digital tools prescribed to suit discipline purposes and an awareness of ethical requirements. Students access and use prescribed digital technologies for communication purposes with academic peer group.
Supported Students manage digital technologies including network and media devices, a range of apps, and specialist software or hardware required for learning. Students evaluate the capabilities and suitability of software to prepare and communicate data for academic purposes. Students access and store their online information in a digital environment and adapting to changing technologies. Students choose and use digital tools to suit own purposes and adhere to ethical requirements. Students demonstrate some capacity to evaluate digital technologies appropriate for communication with academic audience.
Supervised Students evaluate and adapt to changing digital technologies including network and media devices, a range of apps, and specialist software or hardware. Students integrate different software to prepare and analyse data to visualize and communicate information for either professional or academic purposes. Students manage and secure their online information across multiple digital environments as directed. Students choose and blend technologies to evaluate the application of digital tools beyond basic functionality to suit disciplinary contexts and adhere to ethical requirements Students select and manage appropriate digital technologies for communication purposes with a targeted audience.
Independent Students confidently integrate digital technologies including media devices, a range of apps, and specialist software or hardware. Students independently choose and use software to capture, analyse and communicate data for professional and academic purposes. Students manage and secure their information across multiple digital environments and create spaces to disseminate information. Demonstrate advanced ability to critique the capabilities of research tools for a variety of purposes and adhere to ethical requirements. Students use a variety of digital communication technologies to collaborate with academic communities and industry partnerships.

Take the Next Step

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Sources

Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information for higher education. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

Bowles-Terry, M. (2012). Library instruction and academic success: A mixed-methods assessment of a library instruction program. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice7(1), 82-95.

Griffith Graduate Attributes https://www.griffith.edu.au/the-griffith-graduate

Harper, R. (2011). Academic  Development Framework, University of Canberra.

Henzcel, S. (2014). Library Metrics Workshop 12 September 2014, Griffith University.

JISC. (2015). Digital literacies development framework, Digital Literacies Materials. Retrieved from

http://technologyenhancedlearning.net/files/2010/10/Literacies-development-framework.pdf

JiSC (nd) Digital Capabilities: the 6 elements defined retrieved 15 02 2016.  https://digitalcapability.jiscinvolve.org/wp/files/2015/06/1.-Digital-capabilities-6-elements.pdf

Lizzio, A. (2006). Designing an orientation and transition strategy for commencing students.  Griffith University first year experience project. Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.

Lizzio, A. (2011). Succeeding@ Griffith: Next Generation Partnerships across the Student Lifecycle. Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.

Oakleaf, M. (2015).  The library's contribution to student learning: Inspirations and aspirations. College and Research Libraries, 76(3). Retrieved from http://meganoakleaf.info/framework.pdf

Oliver, R., & Towers S. (2000). Benchmarking ICT in Tertiary Learning Settings. Edith Cowan University. ASCIILITE Conference.

Seidman, A. (Ed.).  (2005). College student retention: Formula for student success. American Council on Education/Praeger Series in Higher Education Series. Praeger Publishers, Westport, United States of America.

Tinto, V. (1975) Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research Review of Educational Research, 45, 89-125.