Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education Editorial: Developing Writing in STEM Disciplines

Trevor Day, John Hilsdon, Andy Hagyard
The first Special Edition of the JLDHE, published in 2010, was a collection of papers written as part of the National Action Research Network project on PDP and e-Portfolio Practice, and was called "Researching and Evaluating Personal Development Planning and e-Portfolio Practice". The second Special Edition is also a collaborative venture. It was prompted by the National HE STEM Programme project Developing Writing in STEM Disciplines ( which ran throughout
more » ... -11. Its follow-up activities (of which this special edition is one) are extending into 2013. The project was responding to the issue of graduate literacy, with surveys such as those of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (Graduate Prospects, 2008) and the Council for Industry and Higher Education (Archer and Davison, 2008) identifying the writing abilities of graduates as a key area for concern. Learning developers are acutely aware of the importance for students of acquiring the successful habits, and adopting the socially approved codes, of written language in their chosen discipline. The theme of developing the capabilities to write successfully is a very important one, especially given the extent to which value is attached to the appropriate use of language in education and employment. For this reason it is important that we explore how students can develop successful practices for their context and discipline. The HE STEM project supported initiatives aiming to identify and respond to concerns about writing in the science, technology, engineering and maths disciplines and, if there were needs to address, what form appropriate responses might take.