Board # 116 : Writing in the Disciplines for Engineers: Implementation and Assessment of Student Learning

Jordan Trachtenberg
2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Jordan Trachtenberg received her PhD in bioengineering from Rice University. She has been passionate about STEM education and outreach throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies. Her broad teaching interests include teaching K-12 outreach programs in 3D printing and computer-aided design, mentoring undergraduate laboratory and design teams, and organizing graduate professional development opportunities in science communication. She works on collaborative pedagogical research projects to
more » ... nderstand student learning in engineering problem-solving and design. Approach feedback effectively: • Increase peer and instructor dialogue in feedback [Chong 2012] • Focus on content and skills-based feedback [Troy 2014] -Weekly concept journals -Documented problem solutions Assess critical thinking skills: • Follow up with in-depth qualitative and quantitative assessment [DeTurris 2012, Elrod 2010] • Develop assessment rubrics [Frank 2015] that directly relate writing assignments to different levels of critical thinking • Standardize assessments for specific courses [Barlow 2007] Inform curricular and departmental decisions on innovative teaching and assessment Establish models for other institutions to follow LEARNING FRAMEWORKS AND ASSESSMENT METHODS ABSTRACT Writing in the Disciplines is an integrated approach that ties writing assignments to the learning outcomes of a technical course and provides relevant opportunities for students to develop expertise in their field. In order to ameliorate the public's scientific literacy, we need scientists to communicate in a clear and concise manner. As we prepare students for science and engineering careers, it is crucial to help them improve their technical writing and presentation skills to wide audiences. It is well-supported that students who engage in discipline-specific writing develop important professional and critical thinking skills. There are specific engineering writing assignments that scaffold student learning in laboratory, design, or research-related courses. After implementing these scaffolded writing assignments in the engineering curriculum, it is then possible to qualitatively and/or quantitatively assess student perceptions of learning, development of critical thinking skills, and alignment of our courses with accreditation standards. Improvement of writing feedback and assessment methods in the future will then inform educators about the effectiveness of their teaching, as well as provide measurable standards for students as they pursue professional careers. SIGNIFICANCE CONCLUSIONS • How we teach writing will depend on the level of the course and learning objectives • Writing teaches different skills depending on student's prior knowledge • Assessment can be used as formative feedback to improve course design and understand student learning
doi:10.18260/1-2--27701 fatcat:ecuqyb3ixjh6xkj3l6kq3bl6tq