OWL: A wise way to enhance engineering students' writing skills

Erik Fisher, Michael W. Usrey, Heather A. Beasley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The task of reforming the engineering education system to improve graduates ' writing skills, while justified, faces significant barriers. The College of Engineering and Applied Science's Online Writing Lab (OWL) at the University of Colorado-Boulder is a unique and promising effort that helps overcome such barriers. Rather than rely on the impractical solution of additional required courses, OWL works closely with engineering faculty and students to improve the efficacy of existing technical writing assignments and the quality of written reports. OWL thus capitalizes on a rare opportunity to improve students' writing skills and does so within the pedagogical framework of the discipline. Results from student surveys, faculty anecdotes, and informal studies are promising. Voluntary adoption rates and repeat usage by students and faculty are high. Moreover, students have indicated satisfaction with the system, and student performance has improved dramatically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference
Volume2
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventEngineering as a Human Endaevor: Partnering Community, Academia, Government, and Industry - Westminster, CO, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2003Nov 8 2003

Other

OtherEngineering as a Human Endaevor: Partnering Community, Academia, Government, and Industry
CountryUnited States
CityWestminster, CO
Period11/5/0311/8/03

Keywords

  • Curriculum integration
  • Engineering OWL
  • Online writing lab
  • Writing skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Fisher, E., Usrey, M. W., & Beasley, H. A. (2003). OWL: A wise way to enhance engineering students' writing skills. In Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference (Vol. 2)