New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The inclusion of writing-based exercises in technical courses has multiple learning benefits to students. Writing exercises not only serve to improve students’ written communication skills (i.e., “learn to write”), but can also be leveraged to develop critical thinking skills and promote deeper understanding of technical concepts (i.e., “write to learn”). Nevertheless, while writing-intensive assignments are relatively common in upper-level technical courses, especially in the form of laboratory and project reports, writing is often absent in the larger, required core courses that are taken by large numbers of engineering students. This is a missed opportunity to both enhance student learning of technical content as well as missed chance for students to have more writing practice. This NSF RIGEE project aims to investigate, support, and promote the inclusion of writing in technical courses, particularly introductory and core courses. Analysis of an engineering instructor survey carried out as part of the project revealed concerns about assessment and feedback on students’ written work. Additionally, writing instructors were interested in the creation of guides designed to aid instructors in the creation and tailoring of writing prompts for use in their existing technical courses. This paper introduces preliminary resources we have created in response to these stated needs, in order to help instructors develop, implement, and assess writing assignments in their courses. Current resources include a decision tree to help instructors create writing assignments within their classrooms and assessment rubrics that can easily be adapted to specific writing assignment needs. Resources will continue to be developed during the remainder of the project, culminating in a writing website geared towards instructors.
Troy, C., & Jesiek, B. K., & Boyd, J., & Buswell, N. T., & Essig, R. R. (2016, June), Writing to Learn Engineering: Identifying Effective Techniques for the Integration of Written Communication into Engineering Classes and Curricula (NSF RIGEE project) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27060
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