Writing in the disciplines as writing to learn – student disciplinary discourse to enhance learning
Paper in proceeding, 2017

Irrespective of educational level or language context, we tend to talk of 'writing-to-learn' (WTL) often in general, across discipline ways or we tend to use WTL-techniques in 'pre-writing' stages for the respective student writing projects we are involved in or scaffold. In this presentation, we would like to take a look at WTL from the disciplinary angle (MSc-level engineering) and present results on learning (learning outcomes met via assignments and / or the exams) from two different MSc-level courses at a university of technology. Both the courses have gone through course re-design in connection with faculty training courses. The re-design components vary between the two courses but share the focus of scaffolding student writing for lab reporting writing and involve workshops, peer response, criteria design and negotiation. Technically, the examples can also be addressed as 'writing-in-the-disciplines' of course and the various discipline-specific details that are different in the expected internalized standards of the two disciplines are represented. However, while the writing assignments in the two courses and many techniques in the courses are recognizable as disciplinary writing, our focus is on the design of writing assignments and their effect on disciplinary learning. In this choice of focus on the WTL-dimension, we follow Carter, Ferzli, Wiehe (2007) in an attempt to help show improved student learning also for writing assignments other than pre-writing activities.


Writing in the disciplines

integrating communication and content


Magnus Gustafsson

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers), Language and Communication

Sabine Reinfeldt

Chalmers, Signals and Systems, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering

Jonas Bylander

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Quantum Device Physics

9th Conference of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW)

Subject Categories


Medical Engineering

Pedagogical Work

Specific Languages

Nano Technology

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

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