Dorothy Dyer

Many lecturers complain that their students struggle with writing, particularly the formal academic writing required for tertiary study. But the curriculum is so packed it is hard to find time to support students to develop this vital skill.

So… FunDza to the rescue! Last year we piloted a successful course with LITASA (the Literacy Association of SA) and CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technoogy) Education lecturers at Mowbray Campus on Writing Academic Essays. Students tested the course for us, and reported that they found it extremely useful – the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

So this year we have made it an open course, available to all who register on our mobi site. The course covers helpful topics such as how to structure academic essays, common mistakes to avoid, how to reference, and how to write introductions and conclusions. It is mainly aimed at tertiary students (for school learners we have a course called ‘Writing good essays’ which focuses on school-based essays).

We recently ran an online introductory workshop to the course (and to our mobi site as well) to Education students at CPUT in Wellington, where we guided them to register on and access the course. To get students to familiarise themselves with the mobi site, we set some tasks and will be giving T-shirts and books to 10 students who were the first to complete them and give answers in the chat!

The students will be required to submit the certificate to prove that they completed the course to their lecturers as part of their required coursework. They will only get a certificate if they achieve 50% or more – something that is not difficult to do if they focus carefully on the texts.

We are very interested to see how this partnership will work, as we believe it could be a model we can expand: we are expert content producers, and can support other institutions and organisations with customised content that they can integrate into their coursework – and we can widen our net of readers.

You can access this Writing Academic Essays Course here – scroll down our course catalogue to find it.