June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1479.1 - 10.1479.8
Writing in the Discipline: A case study for Architectural Engineering
Joseph A. Betz State University of New York at Farmingdale
Abstract This paper presents a case study of developing a writing intensive course using the Writing in the Discipline (WID) model for architectural engineering. Background issues are discussed, terms defined and a detailed course description and outline are given. A writing model is presented that outlines the process by which students construct complex theory papers, starting with "low- stakes" writing activities that lead to "high-stakes" formal papers. External course and internal student continuous improvement plans are explained. Survey data and sample grade patterns are presented and analyzed to support conclusions.
Introduction There is little doubt that our students need to effectively write in the discipline. Writing is a critical form of thinking. Good writing and thinking is methodical and process driven. Our students may be technically competent but many times they cannot clearly express themselves in written form. This paper presents a case study of a writing intensive course using the Writing in the Discipline (WID) model for architectural engineering in an upper-level architectural theory course. A detailed course description and outline is presented in conjunction with a step-by-step process for writing. It shows how students develop complex theory papers starting with "low- stakes" writing activities that leads to "high-stakes" formal papers. This process incorporates a continuous improvement plan that uses several types of peer review. A campus-wide committee, referred to as the Writing in the Discipline Committee, also reviews and approves the pedagogical writing process used in the course. Student survey data is presented to measure student attitudes and perceptions. Sample grades are presented to show trends. Analysis, recommendations and conclusions are given. The goal here is to present a useful case study for faculty interested in teaching a writing intensive or WID course.
Background There are two important background points that should be made. One, what type of writing is currently emphasized in this discipline pedagogically? Two, are there significant writing style differences in the discipline that that require faculty in the discipline to guide the student thought and writing process? The current emphasis in engineering and engineering technology programs is placed on highly formatted technical and scientific laboratory reports.1 The problem with this type of technical writing in the discipline is that it doesn't really prepare students to communicate
1 It is interesting to note that students have had a difficult time writing the conclusions in their laboratory reports. That is because conclusions are the most open-ended aspect of the report and require the summation of ideas. This complaint was one of the reasons for developing an earlier program at SUNY Farmingdale called Writing Across the Curriculum, a forerunner to the Writing in the Discipline program. Shapiro (2005) noted similar comments.
"Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education"
Betz, J. (2005, June), Writing In The Discipline: A Case Study For Architectural Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15242
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