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Academic Writing in an Engineering Context. Towards Engineering Proficiency
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Learning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5413-0797
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Learning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4089-5270
2019 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study, we aim to investigate the best way to organize and teach the compulsory academic writing course Writing in the Engineering Profession (4.5 ECTS credits) in the first term of the five-year program in Computer Science at KTH RoyalInstitute of Technology. The language instruction is Swedish, the L1 of the majority of students. Up until 2016, the course was held by the School of Computer Science and Communication. The course was placed in the fall semester of year 1, toprepare the students for more academic writing tasks, focusing solely on the technical report / essay. However important, the course did not align with the other writing tasks that the students encountered during their first two years of study, and incourse evaluations, the students expressed that they found the course redundant and disconnected from the program as a whole.

In fall 2016 the responsibility for the course was moved to KTH Language and Communication, which began a reconstruction of the course content and learning activities, while still keeping the academic writing objective. The ambition is to continuethe course reconstruction by teaching academic writing to increase the students’ proficiency, using real life text types from their workplaces. But for this, a better understanding of the engineering profession is needed.

Engineering students in Computer Science at KTH write different types of texts, for example, code commentaries and project descriptions, and would, therefore benefit from a broader understanding of the various text types they may encounterduring their studies and future workplaces. As is well known, the importance of excellent communication skills for a successful engineering career cannot be emphasized enough, as discussed by e.g. Lappalainen (2009) and Gustafsson et al.(2014). Therefore, a continuation of the course re-development needs to include other text types, more aligned with other courses and written assignments within the program and in the engineering workplace, to further the students’ engineeringproficiency in literacy.

In this study we propose that a general principle of academic writing could well be used as a starting point for the teaching of other text types. We want to problematize the relationship between writing academically (as part of a university degree)and writing in the engineer's workplace. We will also discuss why and how the course needs to be further developed and integrated with other courses throughout the program, in order to meet the requirements from both program directors and theindustry, and the challenges that such development provides.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
student writing, engineering, communication, proficiency, course development
National Category
Learning General Language Studies and Linguistics Communication Studies
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-263841OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-263841DiVA, id: diva2:1370500
Conference
EATAW2019 - Academic writing at intersections 10th Conference of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing
Note

QC 20191122

Available from: 2019-11-15 Created: 2019-11-15 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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poster(582 kB)4 downloads
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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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