asee2015-one-on-onesession-mfgdiv_3_10_15_final_submission_wsu.pdf

Nt acknowledge that writing conventions and

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n’t acknowledge that writing conventions and expectations are tied to particular contexts and communities, such as in the field of engineering. After conducting a professional development workshop on rhetorical
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approaches to teaching writing in 2013, the instructor started implementing a rhetorical writing pedagogy into the two lab courses. In the academic years of 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, lab reports were graded by a graduate teaching assistant. Since 2013 Fall, the instructor has graded the lab reports and provided a one-hour session on the rhetorical features of engineering lab reports during the first lab session. In addition, the instructor further provided one-on-one lab report feedback sessions for individual students. Each one-on-one feedback session took an average of 10 minutes per student to discuss both the strengths of the lab report and areas for improvement. Figure 1 shows the breakdown of each academic year of engineering lab report average scores: AY Holistic Assessment Invention and Development Conventions of the Discipline Rhetoric of the Discipline Arrangement and Layout Knowledge of Writing Conventions and Style 2013-2014 4.8 4.8 5.0 4.8 4.7 4.2 2012-2013 4.2 4.5 4.6 4.2 4.3 4.1 2011-2012 3.8 3.7 4.3 3.7 4.0 3.3 2010-2011 3.5 4.5 4.8 3.5 3.5 3.0 Figure 1. Scores of engineering lab reports for past four academic years (5 max) These scores are the results from the subsample of mechanical engineering students’ JPWs (n=18) identified earlier in this paper. It is a clear upward trend in assessment scores although the results from AY 10-11 and AY 11- 12 don’t show a clear difference. In particular, style showed an upward trend for four years of observation. Based on the course level multi-year writing assessment results shown in Figure 1, we decided to focus on one engineering laboratory course (Mech 309 Introduction of engineering
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materials) offered in Fall 2014 to study the effect of various pedagogical tools on students’ lab report writing skills and their discipline knowledge learning through the labs. These pedagogical changes included revising the lab report writing handout to a rhetorical approach, including a rhetorically-based rubric to accompany the lab report guidelines, and offering one-on-one sessions with students to discuss the lab report as a genre with specific rhetorical features. 4. Results and discussions on rhetorical writing implementation In order to understand the effectiveness of rhetorical writing approach and various pedagogical tools designed to support students’ lab report writing, a case study was conducted on a junior-level laboratory course (Mech 309 Introduction of engineering materials) in the fall semester of 2014. As noted earlier, this class has six materials science laboratories, each of which requires lab report. The instructor first offered a rhetoric writing session before Lab 1.
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