Successful engineers must be able to identify innovative approaches to solving real-world problems. For this reason, the ability to move beyond memorization and think critically is an essential skill for engineering students. Writing is an effective pedagogic tool for helping undergraduate students to develop such critical thinking skills (Bean, 2011). Moreover, research shows that short writing activities can help engineering students deepen their understanding of complex concepts so that they are prepared to engage more critically with course content (Kågesten & Engelbrecht, 2006; Welch Gradin & Sandell, 2002; Wheeler & McDonald, 2000). Yet despite the proven value of writing activities, they are not commonly used in engineering courses. In this workshop, participants explore the benefits and challenges of using writing activities in engineering courses at the undergraduate level. Participants are introduced to a number of writing activities that can easily be integrated into engineering courses, by either instructors or teaching assistants, in order to engage students in course material and encourage students to think critically about course concepts. By the end of this workshop, participants should feel comfortable using writing activities in their own teaching practice, as well as describing the learning benefits of using writing activities in engineering.
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Enns, Charis; Cho, Michelle; and Karimidorabati, Shahin
"Using Writing as a Learning Tool in Engineering Courses,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 4
, Article 6.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol4/iss2/6