June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society and Computing & Information Technology
26.370.1 - 26.370.13
Comparatively Mapping Genres in Academic and Workplace Engineering EnvironmentsIn the Engineering workplace, one must be able to negotiate many genres of writing: he or she mustdeliver updates, understand technical requirements, weigh project priorities, develop and carry outproblem-solving techniques, all while using different forms of technical communication. Engineeringwork relies on the ability to flexibly transition between a variety of technical writing genres, whilealso navigating the broad array of technologies required to effectively complete these projects.However, the genres and types of writing present in the workplace do not always reflect the genresand types of writing undergraduate Engineering students do in coursework. According to RhetoricalGenre Studies (RSG), this is a problem since genres are forms of social action and as such embody acommunity’s way of knowing, being, and acting. Therefore a disconnect between genres signifies adisconnect between academic and workplace communities of practice. The project discussed in thispaper is focused on understanding what genres of technical writing are currently present inengineering courses at a southeastern, midsize research institution and how they align or do not alignwith the genres of regional workplaces. This project emerged an interdisciplinary team of facultyfrom the Department of English and different departments in engineering and technology, whodesigned and implemented a grant-supported faculty learning community; one of the tasks of thiscommunity was to map the current state of technical writing genres in engineering courses and tobetter understand the present gaps, if identified. Mapping was chosen as a technique because visualshave been shown to better articulate the relationships between and among genres of writing. After thedisconnects and subsequent needs have been identified, suggestions and strategies related to thedevelopment of writing projects and activities, which can be embedded in existing curricula to buildtechnical writing skills of engineering students, will be identified for faculty involved in thiscommunity.
Jovanovic, V. M., & McKittrick, M., & Pazos, P., & Richards, D., & Romberger, J. (2015, June), Comparatively Mapping Genres in Academic and Workplace Engineering Environments Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23709
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