Writing Genre Abstract Exercise Answer

Academic Writing

Genres in academic writing: Report  abstracts

Writing an abstract

Exercise: Answer

Investigation of the perceived usefulness of a VLE group discussion facility by international students.

Andy Gillett, Claire Weetman

School of Combined Studies, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Hertfordshire


Post-graduate international students at UK institutions of Higher Education often find difficulty dealing with seminar type discussions. An attempt was made to help students with this by utilizing the group discussion facility of a university Virtual Leaning Environment (VLE). However, as most of the students were from East Asia, who often consider education as essentially a passive process, something that happens to them, not something they have to do for themselves, it was felt necessary to investigate this to see how seriously they took such an activity. A questionnaire was therefore given to the students and the results analysed. Despite some criticisms, the students were generally found to understand the purpose of the activity and think it is beneficial. Thus, overall, when activities are clearly seen to be related to the learning outcomes and integrated into the course, they can be used with confidence with East-Asian students.
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