My research focuses on students' academic reading and an attempt to develop online support for international students following a Masters programme at the Institute of Education, University of Warwick. This is a topical issue with increasing numbers of international students coming to study in universities in the U.K. A literature review, web review and interviews with students (n = 45) and tutors (n = 16) have been carried out over two academic years and online support material designed. The research suggests that one of the most common problems for overseas students lies in transition from first to target language and engagement with the text at a critical, analytical level. Another issue is that of learner strategies. Some students are not aware of, or do not use strategies, such as skimming, scanning selecting, speed reading and academic vocabulary in reading, which can impact on speed of reading and comprehension. This was supported in interviews which further showed tutors failed to appreciate the extent of student difficulties.
E-learning support was considered appropriate as this would provide flexible access and interactivity. Trial material has been developed following a user centred model of design. Students' trialling the material have been generally positive about choice of texts, testing and feedback. The material will be further trialled in the following academic year. Hopefully, my own design approach could contribute to the theory of e-learning methodology.