The Engineering Writing Brown Bag will meet every other week this quarter.

Thursdays, October 23; November 6 and 20; at noon in 232 Engineering Annex.

Joining us on October 23 is Dr. Katie Malcolm, who is an instructional consultant at UW’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Malcolm will co-facilitate a conversation about teaching English-language learners in our classes, and how we might develop techniques and strategies for teaching engineering communication in our linguistically diverse classes.

Examining Motivation in Engineering Writing Students

We are pleased to announce a new student workshop and research funded by NSF IUSE, starting Fall Quarter 2014. 


In a single engineering class we encounter students who dislike writing and students who blog for fun; students who chose engineering narrowly over creative writing, and students who chose engineering to avoid creative writing; students who think writing is an inborn talent only, and students who are working doubly hard to learn writing proficiency in a second language; students who learn math by taking copious verbal notes, and students who think engineers needn’t write at all. How can we structure our classes to motivate students with this breadth of writing affinities, learning beliefs, interests, and conceptions/misconceptions? Perhaps the first step is to help students to become aware of their own unexplored learning habits, assumptions, and strengths– as individuals and as a classroom community.

Starting this fall we are offering to tailor a workshop for your class to help them to become metacognitive about their beliefs about writing and learning, their motivations, and how these factors affect their success and enjoyment of their writing education. We ask your students to take a 30-minute survey about their motivation in your class (we encourage you to offer extra credit). Then we engage students in a discussion about the group’s varied responses, as guest lecturers in your class. We use the discussion as an opportunity to discuss motivational psychology and self-motivating techniques, as well as ways that they may engage with you, their teacher, to keep motivation high throughout the quarter. We also present you with a report that summarizes your students’ present motivational attitudes, so that you may better know your students to build a learner-centered classroom.

This workshop activity is ideal for the beginning of the quarter, as it provides an opportunity for you to learn about your students and it helps to prepare them for learning success in your class.

Email us for more information.