First year students’ perceptions of academic literacies preparedness and embedded diagnostic assessment
This paper reports findings from the second stage of a mixed-methods study of embedded academic literacies and diagnostic assessment—specifically first-year nursing students’ perceptions of the MASUS procedure. We found overwhelming support from participants (85%) in favour of embedded diagnostic assessment. The main reasons for this were receiving constructive, individualised feedback and insights into expectations and requirements. This was important as over a quarter of participants said they had “no idea” about the academic literacy requirements of university when they commenced their program and 60% had not formally studied for at least seven years. Those without recent study experience or with prior poor academic performance expressed high levels of anxiety about academic literacy requirements and lacked confidence in their writing abilities. These findings indicate how stressful the process of mastering academic literacies is for many first-year students’ and highlight the potential benefits of embedding for retention and engagement.