Monthly Archives: May 2013

Can we ‘teach’ academic writing (and whose job is it anyway)?

What an interesting article! This post talks about whose responsibility it is to “teach” academic writing…if academic writing can even be taught. The last section of the post really caught my attention. It discussed the much needed partnership between faculty (professors and lecturers) and services (learning centre, writing centre, leanring specialists). I believe it takes a strong collaboration between faculty and staff to manage and improve a student’s writing. Academic-Zone has helped to bridge the gap between faculty and services, and has allowed students to improve their academic writing inside and outside the classroom.

Writing in the Academy

On the face of it, the answer to the first part of this question looks like an easy ‘yes’ doesn’t it? In some ways, it is a yes; easy – well, I’m less sure about that. The answer to the second part of the question is perhaps less easy in practice.

A few years ago I was tutoring and teaching in courses in different faculties and this was my job: to teach students how to write academically (as in, in the forms and styles required of the disciplines within those faculties, according to their criteria and standards). But here’s the thing: it was actually a really tough job, and lots of my students really struggled to get what I was trying to tell them about how they should be writing.  We were teaching students to write their essays and paragraphs in courses that stood outside of the disciplines, were not…

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Academic-Zone Attends 2013 LSAC Conference

LSAC 2013

Members of the Academic-Zone team will be attending the 2013 LSAC National Conference. This year’s event runs from May 22 to 24 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Richmond Campus). The conference theme is The New Face of Learning: Transforming Lives. Lives are transformed through learning in many different ways, the conference looks to capture a variety of the different techniques used to bring this theme to life.  The conference schedule is packed with a variety of interesting workshops, tech-talk presentations, poster sessions, and keynote speakers; all illustrating different ways to transform lives through learning.

“Transforming lives is incremental, not climactic. It begins and is propelled by all members of the learning community striving towards common goals, while working with diverse, creative, critical and reflective students.” 

Academic-Zone will be leading two presentations during the conference. Margaret Groombridge, Assistant Manager Learning Services and Sue Guenther, Senior Learning Skills Instructor, will be leading a Tech-Talk Presentation discussing Learning Skills Technology to Create Strong Learning Partnerships. Paul Hacking, Sales Specialist/ Customer Service Administrator will be complementing the tech-talk with a webinar presentation to demonstrate the Academic-Zone modules and further discuss the benefits of implementing online educational resources into the classroom.

Conference Highlights

  • Preconference workshops for focused and extensive attention to specific topics of interest for learning strategies
  • A conference structure designed to facilitate networking with educators from around the world through colleague clusters, special interest group sessions, roundtable discussions, and social events
  • Featured session with representatives from around the globe
  • Opportunities to learn about the varied cultures of worldwide higher education
  • Commercial and nonprofit exhibitors whose products and services support student success

If you would like more information on the date and time of the Academic-Zone presentations, please contact us at

Conference information at:

Clumsy Language

I just finished reading an excellent article on improving clumsy language in academic papers. This is blog points out a variety of different strategies to help improve writing- from grammar tips to how to find common errors when revising. If you would like an engaging read on the topic of essay writing, I suggest reading this article.

Top 99 Online College Student Resources

Check out Top 5 Online‘s list of online college student resources. The organization has listed what they believe to be the top 99 online college student resources. I really like how the resources are broken down into categories: General Online Learning, Continuing Education, OpenCourseWare, Tools & Supplies, Videos, Podcasts & Webinars and College Preparation. Students are able to break down what they are looking for by type of resource, and then choose from a list of top resources in that category- allowing for easy access and navigation to the topic of choice.

I have listed the #1 resource in each of the categories below, but make sure to check out the full article for more details and links to the other resources.

General Online Learning- Khan Academy
Continuing Education-
OpenCourseWare- MITOpencourseware
Tools & Supplies- Evernote
Videos, Podcasts & Webinars- TeacherTube
College Preparation- CLC College Prep

Click here to view the full article.

Studying the Long-Term Effects of Online Education

I was recently linked to a post from Education Database Online Blog on the long-term effects of online education. The article was very informative and provided great insight on the current situation as well as the  future direction of online education. The post talks about size of online courses, MOOC’s,  costs associated with going to class, the physical tolls of online learning, and how things can get better. I will leave you with one quote from the article that really stood out to me, the rest of the reading is up to you!

“Learning needs to become more open, mobile, social, and analytical because today’s students — active learners — demand it” Stacey Fontenot, Vice President of Product Marketing, Academic Platforms at Blackboard.

Click here for the full article.

Academic-Zone Attends Pearson College and Career Readiness Solutions 2013

Two members of the Academic-Zone team are attending Pearson Education’s College and Career Readiness Solutions event which will take place at the Estates of Sunnybrook in Toronto on Friday, May 3rd.

The keynote will be delivered by Laurel Schollen, Associate Vice President Academic-Educational Excellence from Seneca College. Laurel will discuss two projects, the College Math Project and College Student Achievement Project, that are designed to promote student success.

Scott McDaniel of Middle Tennessee State University will be presenting a session on Course Redesign. Scott will discuss the flipped classroom experience, including strategies to encourage students to engage with course content before class.

For more information including the complete agenda and information on the speakers please visit: