Embedded academic language and learning support via an e-learning tool

Jennifer Silburn, Malcolm Flack, Sharon Bridgeman, Ruth Warwick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper reports findings from a study of the efficacy of an e-learning tool to deliver a program of academic language and learning (ALL) support for external students at Charles Darwin University (CDU). This ALL program was delivered using the Wimba virtual learning environment on the “Blackboard” e-learning platform. Wimba provides a live synchronous class-room where students can interact with their lecturer and fellow students. Live classes were recorded and archived for students’ online asynchronous access. Specifically, the study assessed the effects of the embedded ALL program on student learning outcomes measured by their academic perform-ance and their self-report of their online experience. For the purposes of comparison, the outcomes of external students in synchronous Wimba, asynchronous Wimba and no Wimba groups were compared with those of internal (face-to-face) students who received no ALL support. Findings of this study showed that the external students who received online synchronous ALL support had significantly better outcomes than those who received ALL support via the archived recording. The mean assessment marks of the external synchronous group were 11 percent higher than the other groups. The findings also suggest that through live virtual interaction with others, the external students felt more confident and more connected to other students and the lecturers involved. These findings have important implications for the design of e-learning processes and delivery of embedded ALL support for external students’ study skills using e-learning platforms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)A36-A47
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Academic Language and Learning
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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