Development and Implementation of a Multimodal Academic Skills Orientation Model for First Year University Students

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The introduction of various entry pathways, internationalisation, communication technologies, new delivery modes, and mid-year intakes have resulted in many changes to the landscape of Australian universities. These changes have impacted transition activities, one of which is the preparation of first year students with the necessary academic literacy skills. Traditionally, such activities have been delivered through seminars during o’ week (one week before the start of each semester) as part of broader orientation activities. However, a close re-examination of how existing transition programs and delivery of academic skills in orientation activities continue to fit the needs of a contemporary university cohort is necessary. The literature on orientation and transition to university emphasises the importance for first year students to develop self-confidence in areas of academic, social and institutional literacy (Briggs et al., 2009). Studies also show that many students feel overwhelmed and alone during o’ week (Clark & Hall, 2010). In addition, it has been suggested that transitioning students are generally more focused on needs other than academic literacies during o’ week (Hughes & Smail, 2015) and for many, transition to university is an experience which is not constrained to the o’ week period (Palmer et al., 2018). Irrespective of these findings, many universities’ academic orientation programs have changed very little. This presentation outlines the reasons for the redevelopment of existing academic literacy programs for transitioning university students and development of a new multimodal approach to orientation delivery. It will also reflect and share lessons learned throughout the process, proposing potential improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
Event15th Biennial Association for Academic Language and Learning Conference: Diversity, Distance, Digitalisation: Inclusive and supportive practices in ALL - College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia
Duration: 17 Nov 202119 Nov 2021


Conference15th Biennial Association for Academic Language and Learning Conference
Abbreviated titleAALL Conference 2021
Internet address


  • Higher education
  • Academic literacies
  • Student orientation


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