Teacher-Researchers as Levers of Doctoral Curriculum in Engineering

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    Policy-level interventions aim to expedite institutional change in universities but the related decisions rarely materialize as sustained grassrootslevel implementations genuinely transforming teaching or learning practices. As a solution, educational authorities have called for scientific evidence as base for university reforms. This article showcases an empirical development endeavor from Aalto University that, while responding to doctoral students' learning needs and institutional demands for higher publication productivity, paves the way for a more extensive bottom-up institutional reform of doctoral education. The data-driven analysis of a sample of 381 doctoral candidates in engineering directs the pedagogic focus in a doctoral writing course away from grammar and language proficiency towards writing support that accentuates usability and communicative value. The primary aim is to conceptualize a writing intervention that is based on authentic researcher needs. The secondary aim is to substantiate allocation of language teachers' working hours to research by demonstrating how audience needs analyses can benefit teacher renewal, the quality of education, and institutional performance as measured through key institutional metrics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)48-64
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • doctoral education
    • language studies
    • publication productivity
    • student needs analysis

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