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The development and initial administration results of a new attitudinal instrument, the Views about Writing Survey (VAWS), are presented. The goal of the VAWS is to measure the attitudes, beliefs, values, and perceptions that students have about writing at the beginning of the composition course and again at the end of the semester to show if and how their attitudes change. To this end, the instrument is used as a pre- and post- semester tool to compare students taught in a traditional English course with those taught in an English course that has been integrated with the engineering, physics, and calculus courses. The VAWS was administered to 50 freshmen engineering students within the Foundation Coalition program and to 155 freshmen students within regular sections of English in the first week and again in the last week of classes in the fall semester of 1997. This paper discusses the development of the instrument including the course objectives addressed by the survey. Further, initial validation results of this new instrument and statistical results from comparisons of the engineering students within the Foundation Coalition and students in regular English courses are presented.
Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE '98. 28th Annual (Volume:3 )
Date of Conference: 4-7 Nov. 1998