Learner and Context Analyses
Undergraduate engineering students at Virginia Tech.
Digital literacy, word processing skills, and comfortable with internet navigation.
Prior Knowledge (Prerequisite courses are ENG 1105-1106)
Knowledge of the writing process, knowledge of essay organization, knowledge of argument analysis, ability to perform research and evaluate sources for reliability, ability to support own arguments with evidence.
Learners may have varied motivation levels because the course is not voluntary, but they may be motivated to do well because this is one of the last courses in their course of study. At the beginning, they may not see the relevance of this project to the jobs they will have in the real world. To establish learner confidence, relevance and satisfaction about the unit activities are planned, based on the ARCS model of motivation, to improve and maintain motivation across all learners.
1. Learners will participate in discussions and activities that allow them to exchange their ideas with other engineers/entrepreneurs that will improve motivation by establishing the instruction as relevant to engineering.
2. Learners will participate in highly-structured peer review, instructor feedback, and revision process so they can reflect on their progress to maintain confidence and motivation.
3.Reinforce the idea that the learner will possess written and tangible artifacts as a result of this instruction, to utilize for their campaign launch, as well as workplace communication skills.
Attitudes toward content/trainers/delivery system
Engineering students may not feel that they need to learn how to write to be an Engineer. They also may not have as much respect for their teacher, who is likely an English professor and not an Engineering professor. Learner is proficient in basic computer skills and word processing software. Learners will have prior knowledge using LMS technology such as Scholar or Canvas.
Learners may prefer individual work more than collaboration. Learners are open to accepting new modes of technology related to their learning.
Based on Virginia Tech undergraduate general population demographics provided by the University, it is expected that learners of similar makeup will attend this unit.
Performance Context Analysis:
In their future careers, the learners will need to communicate highly technical design components and processes to colleagues and non-engineers
It is likely that in their future workplaces, learners will work in teams that include non-experts who will help them articulate their ideas for proposals and other documents. Learners may be provided a standard formula for organizing their ideas for such documentation.
Relevance of Skills to Workplace
Learners need to communicate technical ideas and concepts to a wide range of audiences. Audience analysis is a major component of this Instructional Unit, and is one of the skills that the learners are lacking and need to be taught explicitly. According to Writing for the Technical Professions, there are four main types of audiences for technical documents: General Readers, Technicians, Technical Specialists, and Executives/Managers. Each of these audiences have distinct needs and different decisions to make, and each has different expectations for language, vocabulary, technical content, graphics, and organization. Writers in technical professions must determine the primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences for the written or visual artifact they are composing (Trzyna & Batschelet, p.21).
Learning Context Analysis:
Students will receive face-to-face instruction in a computer lab, and have "Flipped Classroom” activities via an LMS.
Compatibility of Site to Instructional Requirements
The technology-enhanced computer lab atmosphere will allow students to practice their writing in class, but also to interact with their peers for non-writing activities.
Adaptability to Simulate their Future Workplace
Learners will be working in groups, similar to the way they will have to collaborate and give constructive feedback with colleagues in their future work environments
Adaptability to Delivery Approaches
Our plan for the delivery mode of this unit is face-to-face, technology-enhanced learning, but it could easily be adapted for a synchronous or asynchronous distance delivery course.