June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
As undergraduate engineering students graduate and advance in their careers, they are faced with multiple tasks that require them to write extensively, whether that be in industry or graduate school. Additionally, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) lists the ability to communicate effectively an expected student outcome of accredited baccalaureate programs. Because of insufficient writing requirements in undergraduate engineering curricula, however, many engineers are unprepared for the writing-demand necessary to convey their own ideas or understanding of ideas. More rigorous writing practices would not only improve effective communication skills as undergraduate students pursue their education, but it can also help students develop a deeper conceptual foundation of engineering topics. The writing pedagogy of interest follows a scaffolded approach and will be implemented alongside a current hands-on learning pedagogy in a junior-level fluid mechanics class. Two theories build the foundation for this pedagogy: learning through mimicry and learning through instruction. The students begin by taking a pre-test with a descriptive paragraph of the technical phenomena occurring during use of a venturi meter; certain phrases of the paragraph are narrowed to two options, where they have to choose the correct phrase. Students then use the venturi hands-on learning device, followed by a posttest. In the posttest, the sections that were previously narrowed down to two options consist of blanks instead, where students are required to write their own comprehensible phrases. These initial steps will help students learn how to explain engineering concepts, leading them to being able to write full paragraphs describing this technical phenomenon on their own in an exam-setting. The results of this implementation will be compared to previous semesters when the scaffolded writing pedagogy was not used, acting as the control.
Kaiphanliam, K. M., & Reynolds, O., & Gartner, J. B., & Adesope, O., & Van Wie, B. J. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Improving Undergraduate Engineering Education Through Writing: Implementation in the Classroom Alongside a Hands-on Learning Pedagogy Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33629
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