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Technical Writing Attitude Measurement and Instructional Goals

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2 Author(s)

Although computers are important tools to help learners improve their writing skills, the instructor must still establish the instructional goals of a course. This study presents an instrument, the Technical Writing Attitude Measurement, that measures students' attitudes toward their technical writing skills and provides data and objectives which help the instructor develop instructional materials and assignmnets to improve student skills. The Technical Writing Attitude Measurement, a Likert-type, self-report questionnaire, is based upon instructional goals that may be divided into three categories: rhetorical principles, planning strategies, and drifting skills. The instrument was used to measure changes in student attitude toward technical writing skills. These changes were influenced by two main methods of Instruction, the case method and the rhetorical approach to teaching technical writing. The study indicates that 1) the instrument can be used to measure change in student attitude toward technical writing skills; 2) the instructor can establish course objectives by administering the questionnaire; 3) the most significant change, as measured by the magnitude of a paired t-statistic, occurred in the drafting skills category, The authors suggest and illustrate several techniques for analyzing the data generated by the Technical Writing Attitude Measurement.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 3 )