Improving Students' Soft Skills in an Engineering Lab Course: Developing and Testing a Discipline-Specific Approach

Razan Badran, Niveen Abighannam, Ali Tehrani-Bagha, Maya Sfeir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Technical writing is an essential communication skill for engineers. Professionally and academically, engineers need to communicate their work to their peers, clients, and managers. However, technical writing is generally not well addressed in the engineering curriculum. The goal of this study was to enhance the writing skills of chemical engineering B.Eng. students who took two core laboratory courses at an international engineering school where English is spoken as a second language. Our approach was to train the undergraduate students, train the graduate students in charge of grading the lab reports, revise the grading rubrics, and provide constructive feedback on the lab reports. To assess the success of our approach, we asked students to submit two writing assignments before and after our intervention, and submit their responses to our surveys at the end of the semester. The results showed that the majority of students and graduate assistants agreed on the positive impact of the intervention on students' communication skills.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2022
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-9517-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-9518-9
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventIEEE International Professional Communication Conference - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 17 Jul 202220 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameIEEE International Professional Communication Conference
ISSN (Print)2158-091X
ISSN (Electronic)2158-1002


ConferenceIEEE International Professional Communication Conference
Abbreviated titleProComm


  • Engineering lab course
  • improvement
  • writing skills
  • writing workshop


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