Author: Elizabeth Tanguay and Pete Hanratty
In order to develop needs-based writing provision across Swansea University, the Academic Success Programme (ASP) has implemented a web-based system for recording identified areas for improvement in 1:1 tutorial sessions. The ongoing needs analysis is based on student ‘essays in progress’ and identifies textual and functional categories for improvement. Grouping records according to student metadata allows us to profile student needs according to discipline area and year of study. The emerging patterns enable us to create bespoke workshops for particular student cohorts.
Accurately assessing student needs is a key concern for educators in order for provision to be evidence-based. Studies investigating student needs in terms of writing support in Higher Education tend to provide a snapshot in time and are limited to a certain number of students (Liu, Chang, Yang, & Sun, 2011; Sloan, Porter, & Alexander, 2013). Others have surveyed users of learning development centres, but not in terms of needs (Buchanan, 2015). With our live database of student needs, ASP is able to update curricula on a college-specific basis. A case study of ASP/College of Human and Health Sciences curriculum development will be used to illustrate the transferable model of tailored writing workshop design.