Questions average score 4 max standard deviation 1 in

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Questions Average score: 4 max Standard deviation 1. In your opinion, how important are writing skills for engineering majors? 3.4 (Important) 0.5 2. How prepared did you feel to write engineering lab reports before Mech 309? 2.1 (Somewhat prepared) 0.9 3. How helpful were the lab report handouts when writing your lab reports? 2.7 (Helpful) 0.8 4. The instructor offered one-on-one lab report reviewing sessions. How often did you attend those sessions? 3.6 (All sessions attended) 0.8 5. Did you find participating in the one-on-one lab report reviewing sessions useful for improving your lab report 3.2 (Useful) 0.8
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writing skills? 6. The instructor used a rubric (grading matrix) based on rhetorical writing. How often did you refer to the rubric when writing or reviewing your lab reports? 2.5 (Most times) 0.8 7. If given more than two weeks to complete a lab report, do you think that you would produce a better lab report? 2.3 (Maybe) 1.1 8. Have your writing skills in the engineering field improved thro ugh this class’s lab report assignments? 3.2 (Likely) 0.7 These results demonstrate that students understand the importance of writing skills for engineering majors while also assessing their own readiness for writing engineering lab reports as low at the beginning of the entry-level lab course. At the same time, students believed that their experiences of writing lab reports during the class improved their writing skills in the major, identifying their participation in the one-on-one sessions as the most useful contribution to improving their lab report writing skills, followed by the lap report handouts and then the rubric, respectively. Students didn’t perceive more time -on-task to complete the lab reports as particularly useful. These survey results suggest that students became more confident in their ability to write lab reports as a result of the implementation of rhetorical writing that the instructor made to the classroom. Further, these results suggest that students came to understand the importance of writing skills for engineering majors as a result of this approach. 4.3 Focus group results The students selected to participate in the focus group represented the diversity of students enrolled in our engineering program: two women, six men, one student of color, one international student, and one older, returning student. Participates were also selected to represent a range of writing skills as demonstrated in graded lab reports. The focus group was conducted by the co-author, an English faculty member from outside of the Engineering Programs. The purpose of the focus group was to solicit more specific details from students on survey responses. The focus group questions were not given to the participants beforehand and were designed to allow for three types of questions: engagement questions, exploration questions, and exit questions. Focus group questions included the following: What did you find most useful and why in supporting the writing of your engineering lab reports?
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