Towards impact measurement: An overview of approaches for assessing the impact of academic literacy abilities

  • Ilse Fouche University of Pretoria
Keywords: academic literacy, programme evaluation, impact measurement


A variety of academic literacy interventions are used at higher education institutions to address the low level of academic literacy with which many students enter these institutions. Considering the increasingly resource-scarce higher education environment, it is becoming crucial for those who are responsible for such interventions to provide evidence of their impact on student success. The aim of the current study is to provide a broad overview and critique of studies conducted thus far that attempt to assess the impact of various academic literacy interventions. This study proceeds by identifying instruments that are commonly used when assessing the impact of these interventions. From the literature surveyed, it would seem that there are two broad aspects that are considered when evaluating impact, namely students’ improved academic literacy levels between the onset and the completion of the course, and the extent to which these acquired academic literacy abilities are transferred to students’ other subjects. The next step in this research project will be to propose a comprehensive evaluation design that could be used by a range of academic literacy interventions.


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