Teaching Academic Writing to Large Classes of Engineering Students


  • E. Bjarnason
  • J. Linåker


engineering education, academic writing, software engineering


Good writing is a skill that requires practice and feedback to learn, and is a challenge to teach with limited resources and large classes. We have explored how to stimulate active learning of academic writing through student peer assessment (SPA) consisting of a combination of written and oral feedback. The students review reports based on a set of assessment criterion designed in-line with the grading criteria for a project assignment. We used a design science approach to develop and evaluate this for a software project management course for 3-year engineering students at Lund University. We found that the approach can support learning
of writing skills but that it also poses challenges. The teacher’s competence is required to provide clear grading and assessment criteria, and to support providing constructive feedback. Furthermore, the learning gains of the approach need to be explained in order to motivate the students.