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Writing in the Engineering Classroom Research Team

Summary:

This set of OWL resources aims to help engineering instructors and TAs create and assess a variety of short, low-overhead writing exercises for use in engineering courses. The primary focus here is on “writing to learn” assignments, which leverage writing to improve students’ conceptual understanding of technical concepts.

Writing exercises can be used in engineering courses to promote the deeper learning of technical material and build students’ writing skills. Writing in engineering courses gives students practice in articulating engineering concepts to different audiences and in engaging with technical communication genres. However, engineering instructors and TAs often struggle to incorporate writing into engineering classes due to a variety of challenges, including class size and the amount of time it takes to grade writing assignments. Additionally, the teaching of writing is an entire discipline of study with its own theories and practices that may not be accessible to engineering educators.

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, through the Research Initiation Grant in Engineering Education (RIGEE) project entitled “Writing to Learn Engineering: Identifying Effective Techniques for the Integration of Written Communication Into Engineering Classes and Curricula.” Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Project team:

Cary Troy (Principal Investigator)

Joshua Boyd (Co-Principal Investigator)

Brent Jesiek (Co-Principal Investigator)

Rebecca Essig

Natascha Trellinger Buswell


Related publications:

Troy, C.D., B.K. Jesiek, N.M. Trellinger, and R.R. Essig. (2016) “Writing to Learn Engineering: Identifying Effective Techniques for the Integration of Written Communication into Engineering Classes and Curricula (NSF RIGEE project).” In Proceedings of the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 26-29, 2016.

Trellinger, N.M., B.K. Jesiek, C.D. Troy, J. Boyd, and R.R. Essig. (2016) “Engineering Faculty on Writing: What They Think and What They Want.” In Proceedings of the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 26-29, 2016.

Trellinger, N.M., R.R. Essig, C.D. Troy, B.K. Jesiek, J. Boyd*. (2015) “Something to Write Home(work) About: An Analysis of Writing Exercises in Fluid Mechanics Textbooks.” In Proceedings of the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, WA, June 14-17, 2015.

Troy, C.D., R.R. Essig, B.K. Jesiek, J. Boyd, N.M. Trellinger.* (2014) “Writing to Learn Engineering: Identifying Effective Techniques for the Integration of Written Communication into Engineering Classes and Curricula (NSF RIGEE project).” In Proceedings of the 2014 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Indianapolis, IN, June 15-18, 2014.

Essig, R., C. Troy, B.K. Jesiek, J. Boyd, and N.M. Trellinger. (2014) "Adventures in Paragraph Writing: The Development and Refinement of Scalable and Effective Writing Exercises for Large-enrollment Engineering Courses." In Proceedings of the 2014 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Indianapolis, IN, June 15-18, 2014.

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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.