What's the 'Problem' Statement? An Investigation of Problem-based Writing in a First Year Engineering Program

2019-05-14T17:49:44Z (GMT) by Ashley J Velazquez
Upon IRB approval, a corpus of 1,192 texts consisting of three assignments written by a total of 1,736 first year engineering students was compiled, and 117 pedagogical materials were collected. Using an iterative quantitative-qualitative approach to written discourse analysis, instances of formulaic language (4- and 6-word sequences) were identified in the corpus; formulaic language was then coded for the rhetorical functions expected in problem statements as qualitatively identified in the pedagogical materials. Additionally, three discourse-based interviews were conducted with First-year Engineering Faculty. Interview data was coded for themes of effective communication and used to triangulate the findings from the corpus analysis.