Vancouver Premier College’s Learning Lab Assignments (LLAs) provide students with the support, encouragement and opportunity to improve their English and Writing proficiency that they will ultimately require to actively pursue and successfully achieve their post-secondary education goals and career aspirations. The LLAs, which are typically between 500-1,000 words, are written on a wide range of topics that are relevant to and/or correspond with the academic disciplines and subject matters of individual courses.
VPC’s Learning Lab Assignments are not independent or separate from the course content being taught in the classroom. Rather, they are an assignment added to strengthen VPC’s emphasis on English and Writing proficiency. Over the past two years, we have added substantial learning resources and supports with the objective of facilitating a qualitative improvement in the English proficiency and writing skills of our students which, include transfer students coming from other institutions who may have received transfer credit for either English 109 and/or English 209. Accordingly, additional effort and resources were expended to effect the desired qualitative improvement and the LLAs, tutoring services and electronic access to academic databases are our first steps in this direction.
As confirmed by the inclusion of the LLA descriptions in our course outlines and exclusion of Learning Lab Hours on Course Attendance Reports, LLAs are considered to be core academic course content. Instructors are therefore responsible for all aspects of these assignments including: assigning (or confirming student selected) topics, supervising, grading, responding to inquiries and providing support as may be required to ensure the timely submission of the respective Learning Lab Assignment prior to the completion of the course. Going forward, the LLAs will also include a mandatory orientation to VPC’s learning and tutoring resources that are provided to students on various topics inclusive of providing an overview of academic and other discipline-specific databases and types of academic and professional publications that are electronically accessible through the LRC, instruction related to the most effective methods for searching databases, finding articles of interest, and, referencing or citing articles using the APA citation style and format.
The effective facilitation of and support for Learning Lab assignments is included in the quality criteria included in the Students Evaluation of Instructors Survey form that is completed by students at the end of each course and also, is included in the information provided to the Director of Academic Programs with respect to her/his completion of the Annual Instructor Performance Appraisals that are completed in December of each year.
A Writing Self-Assessment Tool has also been developed to assist students independently improve their written work related to the LLAs. This tool includes many of the standard elements that often factor into the completion of a satisfactory (quality) written work or assignment. Please have students complete the writing self-assessment and include it with the completed Learning Lab assignment. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Learning Lab Assignments, please contact the Faculty Co-ordinator.
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