Research Seminar: Dr Julia Miller

Dr Julia Miller

Engaging materials to teach English grammar and academic writing: Research around the English for Uni website.

This seminar will present research around a creative resource which teaches English grammar and academic writing skills through unique story-telling videos, clear explanations and interactive exercises. The English for Uni website was created through an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development grant and is freely available anywhere in the world.

Evaluation was based around Biggs’ SOLO taxonomy (Biggs, 2011). Focus groups and online surveys revealed a very positive uptake of the materials, and there are now up to 3000 page views weekly from Australia and many other countries. Evidence from the focus groups indicates that many users progressed from what Biggs (2011) terms a "unistructural" to a "relational" level of understanding of the content areas when they used the resources, evidenced by their ability to apply what they had learned to different areas of academic writing.  A study (n=250) in which one group was taught using the resources and the other was not also revealed greater enjoyment of the lecture by the experimental group and higher scores in some areas.

The seminar will discuss the evaluation of the website, showcase the resources, and discuss possibilities for their use by lecturers of any discipline who wish to promote the academic writing skills of their students.


Biggs, J. (2011) Academic: SOLO Taxonomy.

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