Asee peer logo

Board 22: Work in Progress: Improving Biomedical Engineering Student Technical Writing through Rubrics and Lab Report Re-submissions

Download Paper |

Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29986

Download Count

32

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Robert Wayne Gammon-Pitman Ohio State University

visit author page

Engineering educator determined to improve the student learning though professional development, outreach, and community development.

LinkedIn URL Below
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-gammon-pitman-5888152b

visit author page

biography

Tanya M. Nocera Ohio State University

visit author page

Tanya M. Nocera, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University. She is focused on developing, teaching, and assessing upper-level Biomedical Engineering laboratory courses, with particular interest in improving student technical communication skills.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Graduates from ABET accredited engineering programs are expected to demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively. Technical writing skills are particularly difficult to teach and even more time consuming to assess, often limiting the number of opportunities students are given to practice and improve writing skills throughout their undergraduate education. Presented here is a rubric-driven approach for teaching and assessing technical writing through multiple upper-level biomedical engineering laboratory courses. For each lab course, students were provided with a detailed rubric outlining the requirements for a full technical paper, including abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion, and conclusions. The rubrics were used to guide the students in the technical writing process; technical-writing focused graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) assessed the submitted student reports against the same rubric to provide detailed formative feedback. Students were then permitted one revision and re-submission opportunity, during which they could address deficiencies in their writing and earn up to half the points back from their first submission. By giving students a rubric specifically detailing the requirements for high-quality technical writing before they begin writing, as well as providing the opportunity to revise and re-submit their technical reports, we found statistically significant increases in the students’ final lab report scores (p<0.05, n=155). Additionally, since students were required to follow this identical writing process throughout three different upper-level laboratory courses, student improvement in technical writing skills could be tracked, indicating the importance of repetitive technical writing practice. This rubric and re-submission driven method has provided a directly quantitative means for assessing students’ improvement in their abilities to communicate effectively.

Gammon-Pitman, R. W., & Nocera, T. M. (2018, June), Board 22: Work in Progress: Improving Biomedical Engineering Student Technical Writing through Rubrics and Lab Report Re-submissions Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29986

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015