Unpacking disciplinary conventions and expectations in the redesign of writing assignments at an engineering master's programme.
Övrigt konferensbidrag, 2017

This study investigates development work on an international engineering master’s programme and highlights collaboration between communication and content staff in the development and re‐design of writing assignments. The study originates from a course manager’s frustration about the quality of students’ writing despite several attempts at addressing problems and subsequently accounts for the assessment and re‐design of two assignments. The study takes a broad approach to the revision of writing assignments, but the main data are interviews with students and comparisons of students’ texts before and after the redesign. The presentation describes changes made to the assignments and theorises the changes from a programme and course perspective. One central aspect of the re‐design was the unpacking of the learning outcomes of the course and how these were to be manifested in students’ writing (Anson et al 2012). For instance, the transfer from laboratory work to report text remained tacit as students were uncertain about how to integrate laboratory results into their texts. The context investigated is viewed through an academic literacies lens and the concepts of normative and transformative (Lillis and Scott, 2007). These concepts are relevant here because the study exemplifies challenges when collaborating to find ‘possibilities of transformation’ in writing assignments (Lillis, Harris, Lea and Mitchell 2016, p. 11) and because an English‐asa‐ medium‐of‐instruction (EMI) context tends to face tensions between the normative and transformative. The study contributes to the field of integrating content and language (ICL) and to studies of academic literacies in EFL higher education contexts.


Andreas Eriksson

Chalmers, Tillämpad informationsteknologi, Fackspråk och kommunikation

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



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