Breaking the barriers of research writing: Rethinking pedagogy for engineering graduate research

Badenhorst, Cecile and Rosales, Janna Metcalfe and Moloney, Cecelia and Dyer, Jennifer and Murray, Morgan (2012) Breaking the barriers of research writing: Rethinking pedagogy for engineering graduate research. In: Proc. 2012 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA12) Conference, June 18, 2012 - June 21, 2012 , University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

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A key attribute for success in graduate studies is the ability to conduct research and to communicate research effectively. However, many researchers in engineering do not identify as writers, regarding research writing as the end product of a static template. Novice and experienced researchers alike encounter problems common to all writers such as writer’s block and procrastination, and struggle for clarity of thought and brevity of message. Conventional, skills-based support for research writing exists at many universities, but an interdisciplinary research team at Memorial University has been investigating more integrative and innovative ways to break down barriers to thinking and writing clearly about research, particularly for engineering graduate students. Using the lens of academic literacies, this paper presents “Thinking Creatively about Research,” a research project that developed and piloted a multi-day, co-curricular workshop for engineering graduate students at Memorial University. Preliminary findings indicate that the workshop pedagogy can transform student perspectives of research and writing.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Item ID: 6065
Keywords: academic literacy; academic writing; graduate engineering education; graduate research writing; creativity; transformative education
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2012
Date Type: Publication

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