A Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Approach to Assigning and Assessing Writing

This presentation details our institution’s experiences assessing engineering students’ writing skills to achieve ABET Student Learning Outcome 3. Historically, the engineering department faced several challenges in improving student writing, including constraints on time, resources and personnel. Additionally, students often relied on unethical methods of researching and writing their assignments, including unauthorized AI usage. To resolve these issues, the engineering department partnered with the University Writing Center to redesign assignment prompts and assessment rubrics, particularly the Senior Project Plan. Our data shows that our old rubrics may have been misrepresenting the students’ actual writing abilities and that requiring writing center visits benefitted the students. This session aims to highlight the importance of collaborating with faculty across the disciplines by demonstrating the positive impact of a successful interdisciplinary approach.