Interdisciplinary collaboration to help students find their voice in reflective blog assessments

Presenters: Vanessa Van Der Ham, John Milne and Lucy Macnaught


This session explores the benefits of synthesising disciplinary knowledge of theory and practice in Education, with methods of text analysis used in Applied Linguistics. It focuses on an interdisciplinary collaboration between a subject lecturer and Academic Writing Advisors to design learning materials for students.

In particular, we focus on supporting students to critique and write blogs as part of their assessment in a second year paper. In this kind of assessment, positioning views in relation to theory and practice in a discipline can be particularly challenging for students; however, the ability to critically reflect on teaching practice is a crucial learning outcome for Education students.

The collaborative project formed part of a larger initiative to embed academic literacy skills through the curriculum of the Bachelor of Education degree. The initiative is underpinned by the growing belief that the development of academic literacies in a discipline cannot be separated from subject content. Thus, embedded practices which intertwine discipline-specific content and discipline-specific literacy are widely regarded as the most effective way to help students develop academic literacy in their disciplines.

Our embedded teaching materials will illustrate how mapping disciplinary concepts supported students to ‘see’ points of view by other writers, and then establish their own views about related teaching practices.