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Using Action Research to Support International ESL Students in Information Systems Courses


Tracey Bretag
University of South Australia
tracey.bretag@unisa.edu.au

 

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Abstract

This paper reports on an action research project that aimed to explore ways to support international ESL students undertaking Information Systems courses at an Australian university. Using a range of data sets including students' grades, students' evaluations, tutors' evaluations, results from a student focus group, and an interview with collaborating teaching staff, the paper concludes that the main initiative implemented during the research, providing team-taught support tutorials to identified students, was highly beneficial, both in terms of student and staff perceptions and in terms of learning outcomes (for each support tutorial attended, students achieved an increase of 2.2 per cent in their overall mark for the course). However, significant institutional support is necessary, if the recommendation of the research, that support tutorials for core courses are timetabled for all international ESL students in their first year of study at an Australian university, is to be implemented.

International students, ESL, action research, information systems, Australia

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  Bretag, T. (2004) Using Action Research to Support International ESL Students in Information Systems Courses. International Education Journal, 5 (4), 531-539.
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