1887

Abstract

This paper describes a program of study designed to enhance research skills and promote cognitive development in first and second year undergraduate engineering students. The concerned population consists primarily of students studying in English as an additional language (EAL) while simultaneously adapting to an approach to learning which is considerably different from their most recent high school experiences. The discussed program is an extension of the ‘Learning to Write, Writing to Learn’ concept of the Writing Across the Curriculum movement, and adds the notion of ‘Learning to Research, Researching to Learn’, to its rationale. In two first-year courses, COMM 101 and COMM 151, students learn the basics of inquiry including quantitative and qualitative analysis methods. As ‘apprentice researchers’ they receive instruction, guidance and support while engaging in team-based, real-world research which serves as a platform for further development and application of research methods during engineering design courses and in their future participation in a knowledge based society. The paper highlights documented gains across several relevant learning outcomes related to research, thinking, and teamwork skills, all desired competencies for participation in a knowledge based society.

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2015-08-29
2019-08-18
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