Enhancing Writing Quality in Engineering Capstone Project Documents
Keywords:ABET, effect size, accelerated courses, flipped classes, PBL, teaching and learning paradigms, writing quality, written attributes.
Quality of technical writing in capstone reports is an important attribute to express and communicate the ideas, methodology and results of the technical content of a project. Technical writing expertise for engineering students in general, and for international (non-English) in particular, need improvements in this area. Capstone instructors end up spending significant amount of time in helping student teams in correcting the project documentation for style, grammar, organization and format. This research introduces the concept of bringing in a Technical Writing Assistant (TWA) in to the class room for capstone projects to work with student teams. TWAs conducted sessions with student teams (Onsite and Online) to help with the writing quality of capstone documentations. TWA staff were in addition to the course instructor. This research team used universityâ€™s writing center expertise to staff TWAs, and they helped in developing a set of metrics/rubrics to evaluate the capstone documents for their technical writing quality. In order to assess the impact of TWAs, this paper analyses and compares capstone project reports done with and without TWAs using the metrics/rubrics. The findings of this evaluation and analysis can lay the foundation for changes, recommendations, and deployment of TWAs in engineering curriculums.Â
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