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Title: Academic literacies and the Academic Pathway to Undergraduate Studies (APUS) programme at Urban University Malaysia
Author: Wong, M.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Millions of young people transition from K-12 education to higher education each year. Many meet university entry requirements effortlessly, and yet there are also many who must further demonstrate sufficient readiness for higher learning despite having gained entry into university. For these “transition” students, higher education institutions have increasingly created pathway programmes in order justify letting lesser prepared students through their gates, but with intention to assist them up to speed academically. This thesis documents a research case study conducted on the Academic Pathway to Undergraduate Studies (APUS) (pseudonym) programme at Urban University Malaysia (pseudonym). The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of academic literacies, as a teaching and learning approach within the APUS programme in better preparing students for further study at the university. The articulations of APUS students on their ability to employ academic literacies post APUS were gathered as a means of gaining one perspective on the programme’s effectiveness. A third aspect of the study is the practitioner reflection done in order to locate possible curricular (or other) improvements to the programme based on the study’s findings. Academic literacies was used as the theoretical foundation for the study as it is also the current pedagogical framework for developing essential academic competencies within the programme. This study utilised a documentary analysis approach and student interviews as the two primary research methods, triangulated against a literature review. The study has produced five main findings revolving around misalignments in the learning outcomes of certain modules and between disciplinary assessments. A second finding shows that APUS students perform less well academically than their non-pathway disciplinary peers across all disciplines. It has also found that Computer Science-stream of the module find that the academic literacies component of the programme lacks relevance to their disciplinary learning. Despite the unearthing of these gaps within the programme, APUS students still find that the programme is helpful overall in their personal projections of what future academic competencies post-transition will be needed in order to be successful in completing a full undergraduate degree programme. The study concludes with several strategic recommendations for change to the programme.
Supervisor: Ferreira, M. ; Willis, I. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral