Scaffolding Techniques For Improving Engineering Students' Writing Skills

Murali Krishnamurthi
2009 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Writing is related to critical thinking and good writing skills help students improve their academic performance. Engineering students as well as engineering courses have some unique needs and issues when it comes to writing, and require better approaches to improve students' writing skills. Scaffolding is one such approach to teach writing skills as it builds students' writing skills gradually from simple to complex tasks, and helps students become better writers. This paper describes the
more » ... ssful use of scaffolding techniques to improve students' writing skills in three engineering courses. The scaffolding techniques involved modeling the concepts and expected behavior by the instructor, conducting in-class activities to help students learn the concepts, assigning homework activities that build on the previous steps, and providing clarifications and support resources to help students in the learning process. The scaffolding techniques allowed students to go from simple to complex aspects of writing, such as citations, academic integrity, literature review, grammar, format, and the writing process, and develop the necessary writing skills and confidence in their abilities. The paper includes results from implementing scaffolding techniques in the three courses, and a discussion on how the techniques can be integrated by other faculty in their courses without spending too much time and effort or sacrificing course content.
doi:10.18260/1-2--5828 fatcat:tkayz63aebhf7bns3dndtojjo4