2016 » Papers » Volume 3 » Improving Argumentative Skills for Engineering Students in two Different Colombian regions.
|1. IMPROVING ARGUMENTATIVE SKILLS FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN TWO DIFFERENT COLOMBIAN REGIONS.|
Volume 3 | DOI: 10.12753/2066-026X-16-197 | Pages: 138-141
The paper presents the most important results from a study in argumentative communication skills, developed in three engineering undergraduate programs from year 2012 until 2014. The work was performed by a multidisciplinary group in two Colombian regions.
During year 2012, professors noted that senior students had problems in both oral and written communication. Therefore, engineering professors decided to join expert faculty in communication skills and to design a long-term project to help students. The project was meant to improve these skills, and it included four phases. Phase one diagnosed basic communication skills. Phase two employed an academic intervention. Phase three developed a new diagnosis in argumentative writing skills. Finally, phase four developed a different intervention for argumentation.
The first two phases included students from the first cohort as the reference group and students from a different cohort as the experimental group. The research evaluated data by means of one rubric and one student opinion survey. Both tools were validated by experts. Results show performance improvement in the second cohort after the intervention. The outcome agrees with related work reported in the literature.
During phase three, professors performed a diagnosis through the curriculum, specifically in argumentation. The study encompasses students enrolled in different courses and semesters from Electrical, Electronics and Systems Engineering at Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla, Colombia), and a course from Electrical Engineering at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Medell?n Campus). Results show students achievement in argumentation, which was used to design a pedagogical intervention to improve student performance. Phase 4 assessed the same skill in the new cohort, executed the intervention and finally evaluated the results.
The academic intervention was carefully planned in every phase. During the intervention, the group used multimedia tools as video and Academic Blackboard in order to make a homogeneous strategy in all engineering programs in different places in the country. Additionally, the professors employed a Google Docs form in order to speed up evaluation process.
The students wrote argumentative essays before and after the intervention, employing the "Five Paragraph Essay" technique. Statistical analysis shows improvement; therefore, we can conclude that it was possible to enhance argumentation skills of the students.
Argumentation, Intervention, Five Paragraph Essay, Diagnosis, Writing Through the Curriculum