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Validating a Short Form Writing Attitudes Survey for Engineering Writers

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 23: Courses and Research on Communication

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33529

Download Count

2

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Paper Authors

biography

Ellen Zerbe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Ellen Zerbe is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. She earned her B.S.M.E. at Grove City College. She is currently researching under Dr. Catherine Berdanier in the Engineering Cognition Research Laboratory.

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3271-4836

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from The University of South Dakota, her M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her research interests include graduate-level engineering education, including inter- and multidisciplinary graduate education, online engineering cognition and learning, and engineering communication.

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Natascha Trellinger Buswell University of California, Irvine Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8503-5787

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Natascha Trellinger Buswell is an assistant teaching professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, Irvine. She earned her B.S. in aerospace engineering from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in engineering education from the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is particularly interested in teaching conceptions and methods and graduate level engineering education.

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Joana M. M. Melo Pennsylvania State University

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Joana M. M. Melo is a doctoral candidate in Architectural Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. She earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from ISEP in Portugal, and her master's degree in Energy for Sustainable Development from UPC in Spain. Joana has a passion for understanding how engineering students think and learn. Her research interests include graduate-level engineering education, quantitative methods for engineering education research, and thermal energy-efficient technologies.

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Abstract

Engineering writing is a competency that is often-cited as a crucial skill for engineers to develop but is often under-emphasized in undergraduate or graduate curriculum. The affective dimension of writing (feelings, emotions, writer’s block, and writing apprehension) can further complicate the process of writing for students who write infrequently. For graduate students, in particular, attitudes about writing have implications on career trajectory, persistence, and wellbeing in graduate school. Our prior research employs a series of previously-developed scales assessing various dimensions of writing attitudes and behaviors as a way to understand multiple dimensions of a student’s affective relationship with writing; however, the survey is long (~30 minutes) and can be time-consuming for researchers to analyze. Each of the scales within the survey studies an aspect of the writer’s attitudes. The objective of this research paper is to present the development and validation of a short-form survey that can be used to easily assess primary attitudes that engineering students hold as they approach academic writing. This research employs confirmatory factor analysis to develop a short form survey that gives accurate results, such that students can take a web-hosted writing attitudes survey and immediately be given their “writing attitude profile” with writing strategies tailored to their specific writing profile.

Zerbe, E., & Berdanier, C. G., & Buswell, N. T., & Melo, J. M. M. (2019, June), Validating a Short Form Writing Attitudes Survey for Engineering Writers Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33529

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