Asee peer logo

Developing A Writing In The Disciplines Program In An Engineering Technology College

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Learning to Communicate with Engineers and Non-Engineers

Tagged Division

Liberal Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.389.1 - 13.389.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Laura Wilson University of CIncinnati

visit author page

Laura Wilson, University of Cincinnati
Laura Wilson is a Field Service Instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science (CAS). Her main focus is Humanities, specifically English Composition and Technical Writing. She began co-teaching the Senior Design sequence in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department in Fall 2006. She holds a Masters of Arts from Bowling Green State University in Scientific and Technical Communication.

visit author page


Teresa Cook University of Cincinnati

visit author page

Teresa Cook, University of Cincinnati
Teresa Cook is a Field Service Instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science (CAS). She teaches courses in Humanities which include English Composition, Technical Writing, and Speech Communication. She also teaches Senior Design Communication courses for students in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Chemical Technology and Culinary Science. She has a Master of Arts from Indiana University in Theatre and Drama has completed her PhD coursework in English at the University of Cincinnati.

visit author page


Jo Ann Thompson University of Cincinnati

visit author page

Jo Ann Thompson, University of Cincinnati
Jo Ann Thompson is a Field Service Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science (CAS). She is the Director of First Year Composition at CAS and teaches English Composition, Technical Writing, and Speech Communication. Jo Ann works closely with the Information Technology department in their Senior Design courses and is a long-time advocate of writing in the disciplines and a member of the original CAS e-Portfolio committee. She received a Doctorate of Education from the University of Kentucky in Higher and Adult Education.

visit author page


James Everly University of Cincinnati

visit author page

James O. Everly is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at the University of Cincinnati. He received a BSEE and MSEE from The Ohio State University in 1969 and 1970, respectively. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio. He is current past Chair of the IEEE Cincinnati Section, and in 1997 he received the IEEE Professional Achievement Award. He has held several research and management positions in industry working for such companies as Battelle's Columbus Laboratories, Rockwell International, and Claspan Corporation. He joined the University of Cincinnati in 1985.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Developing a Writing in the Disciplines Program in an Engineering Technology College


Faculty members from the Humanities, Media and Cultural Studies Department at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science have long worked with students on their projects in Senior Design Capstone courses. However, both co-op employers and faculty have expressed concern over the quality of student writing. The autumn 2006 American Board of Engineering Technology (ABET) site visit underscored the importance of developing new approaches to foster clear and cogent writing in the technical disciplines. This paper outlines the writing faculty’s response to these concerns and how they collaborated with faculty members in the engineering technology departments to develop an integrated program of mid- level writing instruction in the technical disciplines. A multi-faceted program emerged: collaboration among writing faculty and technical faculty; development of interdisciplinary writing instruction in mid-level technical courses; the utilization of grading rubrics to enhance the importance of writing and communication skills in technical courses; the formation of a discourse community; and the creation of e-portfolios to enhance reflection and illuminate connections among the students’ technical and Humanities courses.


This paper describes how the College of Applied Science writing faculty joined forces with engineering technology faculty to research innovative practices in the teaching of writing in the disciplines. That writing instruction is most effective when given by writing faculty is a common view in the engineering field; separate faculty members hold different responsibilities, but the effect of a united front is a strong one.1 From the examination of other colleges’ experiences, it was clear that the writing faculty would work best teaching alongside the engineering faculty in a shared classroom. This paper explores the relationship between the writing faculty and the engineering faculty from the beginning of their team-teaching experiences. As an example, the paper discusses how the Humanities department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) department joined forces to create a mid-level capstone course with a heavy emphasis on writing and communication skills. Also, the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) department, together with the Humanities department, provided students with more writing instruction during their mid-level courses. Working within the framework of already-established mid-level major courses, faculty jointly created more-detailed assignment sheets for a sophomore-level Mechanisms course and responded to junior-level lab reports for Fluid Mechanics. Ultimately, each faculty member involved in the writing-in-the-disciplines initiative created a personal e-portfolio in order to better understand how students use e-portfolios to reflect and make connections throughout their education. Students react positively to diverse faculty members agreeing on the importance of writing for a successful future, especially if this agreement is evident throughout the entirety of students’ engineering education.2

Wilson, L., & Cook, T., & Thompson, J. A., & Everly, J. (2008, June), Developing A Writing In The Disciplines Program In An Engineering Technology College Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4157

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: © 2008 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