Teaching the teachers: Effective forms of written feedback to help improve technical writing

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Conference Proceeding

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Engineers write. However, in most programs there is little emphasis on writing and communication skills. As a result many engineers complete their undergraduate degrees with no formal writing instruction beyond freshman composition. The problem is twofold. First, the majority of higher education faculty members are not trained to provide written commentary, but are expected to provide it. Secondly, in many classrooms writing is viewed as a form of assessment, a snapshot of learning. There is no opportunity or mechanism for revision. Consequently, students view feedback as a type of grade and not as an opportunity to improve their writing. Finally the actual process of providing written commentary on student writing can be very time consuming. This paper reports a study that investigated the effect of a reflective written commentary on the number of drafts students submitted. RedPencil was created to streamline the process of feedback through the use of Internet-based technologies. INDEX TERMS




J.A. Abbott, T.C. Ahern, "Teaching the teachers: Effective forms of written feedback to help improve technical writing", , vol. 00, no. , pp. T3B-1-T3B-6, 2007, doi:10.1109/FIE.2007.4418128




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