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Preliminary Findings Of The Engineering Writing Initiative At The University Of Texas At Tyler: A Longitudinal Study Of How Engineers Learn To Write

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Writing and Communication II

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

10.1009.1 - 10.1009.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15517

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

author page

Luke Niiler

author page

David Beams

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

Preliminary Findings of the Engineering Writing Initiative at the University of Texas at Tyler: A Longitudinal Study of How Engineering Students Learn to Write David M. Beams, Lucas P. Niiler Department of Electrical Engineering/ Department of Englishand Director of the Writing Center, University of Texas at Tyler

Abstract

The Departments of Electrical Engineering and English of the University of Texas at Tyler have launched a longitudinal study to investigate how engineering students learn to write technically and how to facilitate that learning in the course of the undergraduate curriculum. This study, known as the Engineering Writing Initiative (EWI) seeks answers to the following questions:

• How do the writing skills of engineering students develop during the course of their studies? • What are these students’ attitudes, practices and skills with regard to writing, and how do those attitudes, practices and skills develop over time? • Does writing in engineering courses help students become more involved with those courses and understand and apply the ideas of those courses? • Do improved writing skills help students become stronger engineers? • How can we incorporate we learn about students’ attitudes, practices and skills in order to improve our instructional practice with regard to writing?

The EWI will use multiple data-gathering methods (semi-annual writing prompts, focus-group and individual interviews with students and faculty, written surveys of students and faculty, and student writing samples gathered in portfolios). It will employ several assessment strategies (quantitative analyses of student writing samples, quantitative analyses of written surveys, and qualitative analyses of interview transcripts).

This paper sets forth the goals, structure, and methods of the EWI and will present findings from its first year. The current draft includes findings from the inaugural semester of the study; this draft will be updated to include results from the entire academic year during the Spring 2005 semester.

Background

Last year at this meeting the authors presented a paper describing the University of Texas at Tyler Electrical Engineering Laboratory Style Guide and assessing its impact on the writing of upper-division EE students (http://www.asee.org/acPapers/2004-457_Final.pdf). The Style Guide is a document drafted to help junior and senior-level electrical engineering students write

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Niiler, L., & Beams, D. (2005, June), Preliminary Findings Of The Engineering Writing Initiative At The University Of Texas At Tyler: A Longitudinal Study Of How Engineers Learn To Write Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15517

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