Developing student writing in science and engineering: the Write Reports in Science and Engineering (WRiSE) project

Helen Drury, Pam Mort

Abstract


This paper reports on the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a discipline-specific online report writing resource for undergraduate science and engineering students, known as ââ¬ËWrite Reports in Science and Engineeringââ¬â¢ (WRiSE). WRiSE was developed by a cross-institutional and cross-discipline collaborative team made up of subject specialists, learning advisors and eLearning specialists. Its conceptual design is based on research and pedagogy in ââ¬ËLearning to Writeââ¬â¢ and ââ¬ËWriting to Learnââ¬â¢. Genre analysis and genre pedagogy in the Sydney School tradition underpin the ââ¬ËLearning to Writeââ¬â¢ resources. WRiSE contains nine modules from eight disciplines. Each module brings together resources to support student learning of both report writing and discipline content relevant to reporting experimental or field work. The site addresses student learning about the product of writing, namely the report genre, as well as the writing process. Evaluations post-project have shown that WRiSE users attained higher marks than non-users in their report assignments. Users also rated WRiSE highly for: developing understanding of the report writing requirements in their discipline; increasing awareness of strengths and weaknesses in their report writing; and, for deciding what changes to make to their report. WRiSE works best when integrated into the curriculum and when it is regularly promoted and demonstrated by lecturers, tutors and learning advisors.

Keywords


engineering education; genre pedagogy; online learning; report writing; science education

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ISSN: 1759-667X