Publication Details

Skillen, J., Percy, A., Trivett, N. & James, B. (2001) creating partnerships in supporting student learning: A paradigm shift in learning support. In P.Little, J. Conway, K. Clearly, S. Bourke, J. Archer & A. Kingsland (Eds.), Learning Partmnerships: Proceedings of the 2001 Annual HERDSA Conference, University of Newcastle.


The main focus of this paper is the creation of partnerships between learning development academics and curricula, faculty staff and the institution that seek to ensure students achieve at their potential. These partnerships are part of a paradigm shift in learning support that has replaced a remedial philosophy with a developmental philosophy. The paper also focuses on the value of these partnerships to curricula, discipline academics, faculties and the institution as well as to students. It highlights three issues:

  • the creation of partnerships to ensure student learning;
  • the benefits of these partnerships to learning across an institution;
  • the benefits of these partnerships to teaching across an institution.

Evaluation of the model and its partnerships has shown that:

  • staff acquire a level of explanatory power about tertiary writing that allows them to rethink curriculum development and teach and assess skills as well as content;
  • rich, inclusive curricula are produced that allow students to acquire skills quickly during the course of a semester;
  • instruction can be integrated into core curricula across 3 or 4 year degree programs to ensure that degree programs produce quality graduates and that students progressively acquire the skills needed for success in the discipline;
  • faculties can more easily teach and assess generic and professional skills within such a model;
  • greater levels of student development in required skills are achieved than in a regular curriculum;
  • significant development in generic and discipline-specific skills is achieved across the whole cohort of students within a subject;
  • the institution is provided with an avenue for the development of both teaching and learning.


130103 Higher Education, 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)