Asee peer logo

Visualizing Arguments to Scaffold Graduate Writing in Engineering Education

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Graduate Studies Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38033

Download Count

35

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Kristen Moore University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

visit author page

Kristen R. Moore is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at University at Buffalo. Her research focuses primarily on technical communication and issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice. She is the author of Technical Communication After the Social Justice Turn: Building Coalitions for Action (2019), in addition to a range of articles. She has received a number of awards for her research, including the Joenk Award for the best article in IEEE Transactions in Professional Communication, the Nell Ann Pickett Award for best article in Technical Communication Quarterly, and the NCTE Best Article in Theories of Technical Communication (in both 2015 and 2018). She is also the co-founder of Women in Technical Communication, a mentoring organization that received the 2015 Diana Award from ACM Special Interest Group in the Design of Communication.

visit author page

biography

Casey E. Wright Purdue University at West Lafayette

visit author page

Casey Wright (she/her/hers) is a PhD candidate in Chemical Education at Purdue University. Her interests are in social justice in STEM education. Generally, her research explores how STEM education affords or constrains opportunities for historically minoritized groups in order to move toward more socially just institutions. She approaches this through studies in the general chemistry curriculum, inquiry into the institution of STEM graduate education, and historical research into chemistry graduate education. Her dissertation research focuses on how the experiences of pregnant and/or parenting women graduate students in STEM are organized by policies and practices of higher education as they obtain graduate STEM degrees. She holds a Master’s Degree in Chemistry Education from Purdue University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Western Michigan University.

visit author page

biography

Erica M. Stone Middle Tennessee State University

visit author page

Erica M. Stone is an Assistant Professor of English and the Associate Director of General Education English at Middle Tennessee State University. She works at the intersection of technical communication, public rhetoric, and community organizing. Read more about her community-based work at www.ericamstone.com. Contact her at erica.stone@mtsu.edu or on Twitter @ericamstone.

visit author page

biography

Alice Pawley Purdue University at West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9117-4855

visit author page

Alice Pawley (she, her) is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and an affiliate faculty member in the Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies Program and the Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University. Prof. Pawley's goal through her work at Purdue is to help people, including the engineering education profession, develop a vision of engineering education as more inclusive, engaged, and socially just. She runs the Feminist Research in Engineering Education Group, whose diverse projects and group members are described at pawleyresearch.org. She was a National Academy of Engineering CASEE Fellow in 2007, received a CAREER award in 2010 and a PECASE award in 2012 for her project researching the stories of undergraduate engineering women and men of color and white women, and received the Denice Denton Emerging Leader award from the Anita Borg Institute in 2013. She has been author or co-author on papers receiving ASEE-ERM’s best paper award, the AAEE Best Paper Award, the Benjamin Dasher award, and co-authored the paper nominated by the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for ASEE Best PIC Paper for 2018. Most recently, she received her school’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Award for Leadership, and a 2019 award from the College of Engineering as an Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Engineering Graduate Students. She helped found, fund, and grow the PEER Collaborative, a peer mentoring group of early career and recently tenured faculty and research staff primarily evaluated based on their engineering education research productivity. She can be contacted by email at apawley@purdue.edu.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Many graduate students come to engineering education research with technical backgrounds in engineering. This can present a challenge for them in learning to write social science research, with new expectations around the structure of academic arguments for the field of engineering education research. Indeed, Berkencotter, Huckin & Ackerman’s early (1988) study on graduate student literacy suggests that even graduate students familiar with writing strategies struggle when entering new communities of practice and disciplines. Although some scholarship has focused on writing (Craig, 2005; Colwell, Whittington, & Jenks, 2011), minimal strategies for encouraging argumentation through a rhetorical approach have been developed for graduate students. Unlike a focus on written product, which privileges sentence-level concerns, a focus on rhetoric functions on a more abstract level, helping students to understand the structure and purpose of arguments as part of the writing process. Our research addresses the struggle many graduate students in engineering education experience as the work to develop rhetorical argumentation skills and pursues the question, “How can visual page forms support graduate students in the writing process?”

This paper presents findings from a study of a rhetorical approach to supporting graduate student writing that focuses on visualizing arguments using page patterns (Selzer King, Moore, Elder & Frankel, 2017). Like Berdanier (2018), our approach to visualizing arguments engages students in understanding the rhetorical patterns used in arguments, but this paper provides strategies for mentoring students as they develop their own arguments and as they work to understand the arguments of other scholars. This paper provides both the foundational theories required to understand a visual rhetoric approach and preliminary qualitative data that suggests its impact on graduate students in a doctoral level engineering education program.

Our paper presents three phases for engaging students in visual argumentation: --Understanding the Affordances of the Page --Understanding Others’ Arguments through Visualization --Building Your Own Visual Argument. After presenting these phases, we provide sample assignments and qualitative data drawn from three cohorts of graduate-level engineering education students to illustrate the effectiveness and experiences students report having in the approach. We conclude with the limitations and barriers to success that instructors may encounter in implementing these approaches in graduate classrooms.

Moore, K., & Wright, C. E., & Stone, E. M., & Pawley, A. (2021, July), Visualizing Arguments to Scaffold Graduate Writing in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38033

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: © 2021 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