WAC-Sponsored Research Projects

Best Practices for Teaching Writing in STEM Disciplines
Princial Investigator: Shannon Bane, Department of Environmental Studies
shannon.bane@sjsu.edu

baneThis study focused on providing information to support and enhance writing instruction and resources to students in STEM majors with the goal of helping them to prepare and be competitive for STEM internships and jobs upon graduation. I was interested in documenting current approaches to teaching writing and improving student outcomes within STEM majors at universities, including SJSU.

The presentation will include results of the study, including a discussion of the challenges faced by faculty teaching research and writing to STEM majors at the university level, and the various strategies used to improve writing and prepare their students for professions in which writing is a key skill. There are specific options that can be employed at the class, department, and/or university level, many that can be used to provide and/or achieve measurable outcomes.

Who should attend? 100W instructors in STEM disciplines, instructors in STEM disciplines teaching professional writing techniques, STEM department chairs.


Essential On-The-Job Communication Skills Business Students Should Master:
A Syllabus Playbook for New 100WB Instructors
Principal Investigator: Laimin Lo | laimin.lo@sjsu.edu

loTechnology giants like Cisco, Microsoft, and Yahoo often push the classic boundaries of teamwork and collaboration as they compete in an ecommerce dominated global economy. Streamlined communication between teams across geographies and customers and vendors worldwide require employees to adopt new tools to effectively communicate and collaborate.

This study takes an in-depth look at the leadership soft skills and business writing and communication tactics most needed by entry-level employees and those needed as they transition into junior level positions. A course playbook will be developed based on the results to better prepare our students to progress or advance in their careers.


Business Students Writing on The Job:
Do 100WB Graduates Have the Necessary Writing Skills for Today’s Workplace?
Principal Investigator: Sharon Stranahan | sharon.stranahan@sjsu.edu

Download the Presentation Here

sharonHear from over 100 SJSU business alumni whether writing instruction at SJSU prepared them for their on-the-job writing needs.

This presentation reports on research that assessed how well the business writing instruction that students received at SJSU (e.g. in 100WB) prepared them for their writing demands at work. In collaboration with the Alumni Office, an online survey was sent to recent business alumni. Alumni were asked the frequency of different kinds of media they use, the frequency of collaborative writing, and the types of writing that they have done on the job since graduation. 

Come hear the research results and discuss the implications for future 100WB classes.

Who should attend: Current, past, or future 100WB instructors, as well as anyone interested in 100WB curriculum development.


Common Grammar and Usage Errors: Spanish -- English
(Resources for 100W Instructors Series)
Principal Investigator: Francisco De La Calle

franciscoA guide on common errors intends to summarize how the primary language of our multilingual students interferes in their writing. With this guide, instructors can advise more effectively and can use it as a tool to discuss writing issues. This benefits students by giving them more personalized assistance and an early diagnostic. This guide is written for instructors with no knowledge of world languages, and consequently it prioritizes simplicity: 1.the list of errors is brief, as a decalogue; 2. each item is explained from the English perspective; and 3. each example is chosen for its clarity and proximity, using cognates when possible.

The Guide on Common English-Spanish Errors lists mechanical, grammar, and use differences between the two languages; with examples, explanations, and comments on cultural features that may also impact the student’s writing style.


Comparing Utilization Patterns of Embedded Writing Fellows
and Drop-In Writing Center Tutors
Principal Investigators: Michelle Hager, Pat Walls, and Tom Moriarty
Using the data we are collecting from Writing Fellows and Writing Center Tutors, we are examining the usage patterns of each.  Our hypothesis is that students meet with Writing Fellows earlier in the writing process.


Writing Fellows in Stretch English Classes: An Empirical Study
Principal Investigators: Tom Moriarty and Michelle Hager
Comparison between sections supported by Fellows and sections without Fellows, on a variety of survey measures and student writing samples.


Writing Fellows in Writing-Intensive Courses Outside the English Department:
An Emirical Study
Principal Investigators: Michelle Hager and Tom Moriarty
Comparison between sections supported by Fellows and sections without Fellows, on a variety of survey measures and student writing samples.


Founding a Writing Across the Curriculum Program: A Narrative
Principal Investigator: Tom Moriarty
Narrative project on establishing a new writing across the curriculum program. Phase 1: Listening tour. Phase 2: Initial pilot testing of programs. Phase 3: Securing the program financially and institutionally. Phase 4: Establishing and maintaining a programmatic culture of research, innovation, and responsiveness -- a culture of permanent pilot testing.

 

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