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Improving Students' Writing Skills by Integrating Prototyping Activities in their Writing Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Integrating Experiential Learning into the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

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Paper Authors


Amy Hodges Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Dr. Amy Hodges is an instructional assistant professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar, where she teaches first-year writing and technical and business writing courses. She also leads the Writing Across the Curriculum initiative and coordinates the undergraduate writing courses. Currently, she is working on a project examining writing strategies used by engineers in multinational workplaces and the impact of these findings on WAC/WID programs. Her primary research and teaching interests are multilingual writers, writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines (WAC/WID), and first-year writing.

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Yasser M. Al Hamidi Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Yasser Al-Hamidi is currently working as a Laboratory Manager in the Mechanical Engineering Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar. He is specialized in instrumentation, controls and automation. He worked as a Lab Engineer in the College of Engineering, University of Sharjah before joining TAMUQ. His other experiences include Laboratory Supervisor/Network Administrator at Ajman University of Science and Technology (Al Ain Campus), Maintenance Engineer at AGRINCO, Electrical Engineer at Ministry of Culture (National Theater Project, Damascus). Yasser's professional interests include precision mechatronics, real-time control systems design, networked control systems.

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Writing is the most important way in which information can be communicated in engineering field. Although understanding the contents of an engineering discipline is very important, however, engineers become much more appreciated if they know how to convey their expertise to a variety of audiences. This paper reports on a collaboration between a writing professor and Engineering Enrichment Program at an international branch campus in the Middle East. Over the course of three semesters, a technical and business writing course was redesigned by integrating prototyping, collaboration, and entrepreneurship skills. Drawing upon course evaluation and survey data, we evaluate the effectiveness of our interdisciplinary, integrated approach to engineering education. From the perspective of writing and communication, students gained a stronger understanding of workplace audiences and expectations. Additionally, the experiential learning focus in the course engaged students in deeper reflective practices in both writing and engineering. We conclude with recommendations for others redesigning courses and curricula for 21st century literacies and global entrepreneurship. We also examine future directions for the course in the coming years.

Hodges, A., & Al Hamidi, Y. M. (2018, June), Improving Students' Writing Skills by Integrating Prototyping Activities in their Writing Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30636

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