Learning Centre

How we can help

Curriculum embedding

The Learning Centre works collaboratively with staff across a range of faculties and year levels to support you in meeting the learning needs of your students.

We can work with you to support student learning in your degree programs or specific units of study. This might involve, for example, developing and embedding:

  • relevant writing or other learning resources
  • discipline focused academic integrity activities and resources
  • learning activities and resources to support students’ development of the graduate qualities of communication and cultural competence

Some recent examples

Education
Core first year undergraduate unit of study. Support for writing a critical reflection assessment task and understanding the marking rubric.
First year embedded writing instruction (PDF)

Architecture Design and Planning
Core first year undergraduate unit of study. Support addressed faculty issues regarding student awareness of and basic use of scholarly writing conventions and academic integrity in writing.
First year embedded writing instruction (PDF)

Law
Foundational first year postgraduate Law: Academic writing for Law, using readings and model student writing from the unit of study.

Identifying student writing needs

The Learning Centre has devised a well-respected diagnostic instrument to measure students’ academic language skills, which is widely used across Australian universities (MASUS: Measuring Academic Skills of University Students). MASUS is particularly valuable for supporting students from non-English speaking backgrounds in meeting the challenges of coursework and research.

MASUS, Bonanno, H. & Jones, J. (Revised edition 2007)
The MASUS Procedure (PDF 428Kb)

The MASUS package describes the background and development of a diagnostic assessment procedure to measure students' literacy skills shortly after entry to university, and provides guidelines on the design of the assessment task and use of the assessment criteria.
The revised edition includes new material on recent case studies using the MASUS procedure in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses and an update on MASUS related research.

Research & project collaboration

The Learning Centre collaborates with individuals and groups within faculties on research projects and teaching and learning development projects.

We can contribute teaching and learning expertise in the areas of pedagogic design, production of written and online learning resources, academic genres and applied linguistics to enhance learning outcomes for students.

We collaborate on funded grants, including national and university projects.

Some recent and current examples

To find out more about how the Learning Centre can support your students email , Head, Academic Enrichment and Learning Centre, or phone on 93513853.

Curriculum Embedded Communication & Language Development Scholars' Network

This network brings together staff across the university who are involved in mapping, developing and teaching curricula to support students to build their academic and professional communication and language capacities.

What is academic and professional communication?

We have adopted the following definition:

The ability of students to use the English language to make and communicate meaning appropriately in spoken and written contexts while completing their higher education studies and after they graduate.

We take the view that the knowledge and understandings that students develop in their degree studies are closely tied to the specific language and communication practices associated with their chosen discipline.

Why build communication capacity in higher education?

Communication is a key component of higher education and professional standards and accreditation requirements. Communication a University of Sydney Graduate Quality. Communication is also identified in:

What is happening at the University of Sydney?

Good Practice Guidelines for the Development of Students Academic Communication Skills at the University of Sydney and the Implementation examples.

The Principles were developed by a working party of the International Student Support Program (ISPC). Membership of the working party included Helen Drury (Chair), Michele Scoufis, Carole Wing-Lun, Corinne Caulliard, Patrick Pheasant and Bronwyn James. The Principles were endorsed as Guidelines by the ASPC in 2013.

Links ( in order of above)