Podcast: Tips and trends from Academic Skills

Helena Walker, Joyce Voerman, Jen Harvey , Sandra Curtis , David O’Sullivan, Blake Edwards and Noel Witney .

Hello, my name is Helena Walker, I am the Academic Skills Coordinator for the Faculty of Arts and Education at CSU.

Before I go further, I want to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the lands that we are meeting on, in particular the Ngunnawal people of the country where I am located, and pay my respects to First Nations elders past, present and emerging.

In this podcast I want to share with you observations and insights that members of the Academic Skills team at CSU have about the students that we interact with daily.

Just in case you are not familiar with our work,

Academic Skills is a team of 13 people headed up by Debbie Wheeler. Seven members of our team are student facing, including a dedicated First Nations Adviser and a School of Policing coordinator. We also coordinate Studiosity, the assessment feedback service and the BKSB which is used to assess and improve literacy and numeracy.

So that you get a picture of where we get our information from, here’s a quick rundown of what our team has delivered this year:

  • In the 202230 & 202260 sessions, we had nearly 2400 one-on-one appointments with students.
  • We also delivered around 300 generic workshops on topics such as referencing, academic reading and writing, numeracy and exam technique.
  • We also delivered around 300 embedded workshops which are tailored to each subject’s needs.
  • Since the beginning of 2022, we have responded to over 1000 student enquiries on our forum

In addition to this:

  • Students have had over 7600 Studiosity interactions and
  • There have been nearly 129000 views of our web pages since the beginning of 2022 with the most popular topics being the referencing pages and our assignments pages.

In the rest of this podcast, I’m going to focus on three areas:

  1. What are the leading problems that we observe in our students?
  2. What changes have our advisers experienced over the last few years?
  3. What do the Academic Skills staff want you to know?

Now, I want to acknowledge that what I am reporting is anecdotal evidence, since our team does not have the capacity to research these issues properly. However, these insights are based on reflections from highly experienced professionals who have worked with hundreds of students at your university and I believe you might find what they have to say interesting.