While embedding Academic Language and Literacies (ALL) instruction in discipline-specific courses is known to be effective, it is difficult to enact across the siloed university. Moreover, the move to online/ remote delivery during COVID-19 has necessitated greater focus on the development of online supports. This article reports on an effort to embed digital ALL support in a mandatory social research methods course, which we argue is particularly suited to academic literacies instruction. A series of digital videos were created to complement a literature review assignment, and were evaluated using video analytics, end-of-course student surveys, and individual interviews with tutors. Quantitative analysis of viewing patterns demonstrated that the majority of students accessed the videos multiple times, while qualitative data suggest that students generally had positive responses to the videos. However, thematic analysis of interviews with tutors showed that while they considered the content helpful, they also had reservations about the length and use of the videos. These findings clearly demonstrate the extent of the unmet need to integrate these types of approaches into undergraduate courses. We also argue that if universities wish to maintain currency in a shifting, globalised world, they must do more to foster the types of collaborative partnerships that facilitate effective ALL instruction in undergraduate coursework. These findings carry particular relevance for teaching and learning literacies in the wake of COVID-19, because digital video has become even more integral to higher education.

Practitioner Notes

1. Digital videos on critical reading instruction can facilitate students’ engagement in both guided and self-directed ALL development when embedded in disciplinary courses 2. Research methods courses open a fruitful space for guided ALL development 3. In order to ensure digital videos for ALL instructions are useful, consultation with ALL experts, educational developers, course tutors and students is needed 4. Drawing on the Academic Literacies critical framework can help to resist the ‘fixing’ of approaches to developing ALL 5. Teaching staff need explicit professional development to support them in realising the potential of a digital approach to ALL development.

Twitter Handle