Creative Enabling: multimodal assessment for engagement with the academy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Students undertaking enabling programs not only struggle to enter university, they also often struggle to stay (Jarvis, 2021). Therefore, developing a sense of belonging in these students is crucial to their early, and continued, success (Pedler et al., 2022). One barrier to this sense of belonging is the disconnect enabling students often feel with the academy. Enabling programs, by their nature, focus on developing the range of academic literacies required for a traditional view of student success. However, these skills, particularly academic reading and writing, and academic integrity and referencing, can be seen by students as gate-keeping tools; a means by which they are precluded from university because they do not yet speak (or write) in the required academic language. Enabling students have diverse past learning experiences, many of which may have been negative (Lisciandro et al., 2018), but, as Roberts (2011) argues, embracing this diversity could result in higher levels of student success. One potential approach is the application of artefact-oriented learning, or multimodal assessment. Multimodal assessment, which is the use of different media to create a single artefact, has been applied extensively to language learning (Anderson & Kachorsky, 2019). We posit that it also has the potential to engage students in their development of traditional academic literacies in a non-traditional way.
In this presentation we describe the introduction of a multimodal assessment task, a group-based creation of a creative artefact, in our enabling program. The identified challenges we hoped to address with this task, particularly around student anxiety, confidence, and engagement, will be examined, as will the intended benefits, relating to choice, flexibility, and the opportunity to recognise and value the existing skills these students bring to their studies. We will also address the pedagogical challenges faced, and solutions found, with introducing this form of assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022
EventNAEEA 2022 Conference: Reimagining Enabling in Higher Education - University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20226 Dec 2022
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceNAEEA 2022 Conference
Internet address


  • Enabling Programs
  • Students experience
  • Assessment


Dive into the research topics of 'Creative Enabling: multimodal assessment for engagement with the academy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this