Asee peer logo

Work in Progress: Supporting Engineering Laboratory Report Writing with Modules Targeted for Instructors

Download Paper |


2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Charles Riley Oregon Institute of Technology

visit author page

Professor and Graduate Program Director
Civil Engineering Department
Oregon Institute of Technology
I conduct research in diverse areas of engineering education from professional skills, to writing, to gender and ethics. I also maintain a structures laboratory to conduct full-scale structural component testing and field investigations of highway bridges.

visit author page


Dave Kim Washington State University-Vancouver

visit author page

Dr. Dave Kim is Professor and Mechanical Engineering Program Coordinator in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver. His teaching and research have been in the areas of engineering materials, fracture mechanics, and manufacturing processes. In particular, he has been very active in pedagogical research in the area of writing pedagogy of engineering laboratory courses. Dr. Kim and his collaborators attracted close to $1M research grants to study writing transfer of engineering undergraduates. For the technical research, he has a long-standing involvement in research concerned with manufacturing of advanced composite materials (CFRP/titanium stack, GFRP, nanocomposites, etc.) for automotive, marine, and aerospace applications. His recent research efforts have also included the fatigue behavior of manufactured products, with the focus of fatigue strength improvement of aerospace, automotive, and rail structures. He has been the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed papers in these areas.

visit author page

author page

Ken Lulay University of Portland


John Lynch Washington State University

visit author page

John Lynch received the BSEE degree from the University of Utah in 1979. He worked in the aerospace and computer industries in California and Oregon from 1979 to 2002. He was an instructor at the OGI School of Engineering at Oregon Health and Science University, where he received a Ph.D. in 2009. Since 2009 he has been a professor of electrical engineering and Washington State University Vancouver.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Laboratory reports are a genre of writing that students are exposed to early in their engineering curriculum. Varied student writing preparation ensures that students need differentiated support in laboratory writing to achieve learning outcomes. Supported by the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education initiative, researchers at three institutions have developed a series of scaffolded laboratory writing modules related to different components of a laboratory report. The module contents were informed by prior research into student performance in laboratory report writing in multiple engineering disciplines and with varied writing preparation. The modules provide definitions and guidance for novice report writers and instructor support for developing assignments and rubrics for laboratory reports. The scaffolded modules treat elements of a laboratory report at fundamental, intermediate, and advanced levels. Fundamental modules include audience expectations, lab report organization and conventions, simple statistics, and data presentation in tables and graphs. Intermediate modules address primary and secondary sources of data, trendlines, summary and conclusion writing, and referencing secondary sources. Advanced modules address logical appeals and encourage student writers to consider error analysis and error propagation. This paper describes the structure and content of the modules as well as the process used to develop them. Initial assessments by instructors as module users are presented. Other publicly available writing-support resources are catalogued to demonstrate the novelty and value of the lab report writing modules.

Riley, C., & Kim, D., & Lulay, K., & Lynch, J. (2022, August), Work in Progress: Supporting Engineering Laboratory Report Writing with Modules Targeted for Instructors Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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: © 2022 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