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Active stakeholder perspectives on the internal- and external-alignment of a first year EGAP writing course
This practical, ongoing research project represents an initial inquiry into an intact required first-year once-a-week English-Mediated Instruction (EMI) English for General Academic Purposes writing (EGAP-W) course, focusing on the perspectives of the active stakeholders (i.e., students and teachers) on the perceived degree of constructive alignment (CA) at both course and curriculum level. As CA incorporates a range of rugged-yet-reliable educational theories, chief among them the learning context and processes, student approaches to learning, and curriculum development, this project investigates the representations of the educational system in which the stakeholders are operating. A convergent mixed-methods approach incorporated both quantitative (n = 397) and quantitative (n = 5) data from enrolled student-participants as well as qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with EGAP-W instructors (n = 6) in order to gain deeper insight into stakeholders’ perspectives. Initial results suggest that while course-internal alignment is perceived by the stakeholders as being relatively high, with students acknowledging the relevance of taught skills, course-external alignment is perceived as weak. In addition, secondary implications of note for both curriculum development and EMI were revealed. It is hoped that results and procedures from this study could provide a basis for instructor-stakeholders to help create more effective course-external connections between courses in extant curriculums, and to better align their course systems to the needs of their student-stakeholders as technology continues to influence educational institutions across society.