Re-evaluating focus, forum and frontiers within the Academic Writing classroom
Keywords:academic writing, foundation courses, best practice
AbstractThe advent of quality assurance stipulations at tertiary educational institutions has renewed the drive within academics to evaluate, defend and revise educational practices. Stakeholders from the corporate world, university faculties and the student body are being invited to provide feedback on the applicability of courses to their outlined objectives, goals and purposes. Educators within the area of academic writing are given the responsibility of preparing university students to 'write' at a standard deemed acceptable and appropriate, with the aim of fulfilling their discipline specific writing requirements. Despite attempts made by educators, there is an underlying sentiment among stakeholders about students' ability to write well. There is the collective recommendation of increasing the writing requirements in academic writing courses, matched with issues of students and educators becoming overwhelmed by writing and feedback demands respectively, as well as time and budget constraints. This research sought to derive an actionable direction for Academic Writing at the tertiary level based on a critical review of existing scholarship informing current practices in the field. It involved the review of course content, teaching strategies and forums, while also examining pedagogical advances, with the primary aim being to improve teaching and learning within the Academic Writing classroom. This research revealed the existence of a service course underscored by thorough teaching and learning ideologies whilst highlighting scope for continued reflection and advancements.