Little work has been done to understand the engineering technology student. The work that has been done often incorporates engineering technology students into the larger number of engineering students. This masks information that would be helpful in guiding and working with engineering technology students. While this is important, work to further understand these students, we chose to begin by exploring the writing skills of the engineering technology student, developing on other work done in this area. The work place demands the ability to convey thoughts and concepts; however the academic environment is not consistent in the development of writing proficiency. If professors provide exercises that engage the student and provide a forum in which the student writes and develops those skills, students writing proficiency improves. Employers and professors recognize that engineering technology students, while technically competent, lack writing proficiency. There are a number of hypothesis of why this deficiency exists, however we are more concerned with ways to remedy the situation once students matriculate into the engineering technology program. A variety of techniques have been used, and we have developed an assignment that is intended to increase writing proficiency while learning the technical material. This work provides examples of the resulting writing assignments, such as the “Big Question Reflection.” This assignment was designed to develop technical writing competency in engineering technology students. We discuss assignment options and provide those teaching engineering technology students with an understanding of the research that has been done, the assignments that has been used, and the outcome of the writing exercises. Comments and input from engineering technology students, as well as instructor analysis will be provided as will recommendations for future work in this area.
Date of this Version