Motivating Engineering and Technical Students to Learn Technical Writing by Inculcating Lifelong Learning Skills

By Hairuzila Idrus, Azelin Mohamed Noor and Mohamed Noor Rosli Baharom.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The government, industry and the academia saw the importance of soft skills to engineering and technology education. Lifelong learning skill is an attribute in soft skills, one of the aims in the National Higher Education Strategic Plan of Malaysia. This paper discusses how lifelong learning skill is imparted in a technical writing course at a private engineering and technology focused university. Their coursework is designed to hone this skill. It is found that students can be motivated to learn if the relevance of the course is clearly explained to them and if they are shown how it would be helpful to them once they begin to work. This study implies that lifelong learning skills can be taught in technical and non-technical courses, as it transcends the curriculum.

Keywords: Lifelong Learning Skills, Soft Skills, Engineering Students, Coursework, Technology Students, Technical Writing, Motivation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp.191-202. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 7.990MB).

Hairuzila Idrus

Senior Lecturer, Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia

Hairuzila Idrus is a senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia. She holds a BA in Linguistics from University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA and an M.Sc in TESOL from Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA. She teaches Technical & Professional Writing and Professional Communication Skills and has been teaching at the tertiary level for 20 years. Her research interests include applied linguistics and engineering education.

Azelin Mohamed Noor

Lecturer, Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia

Azelin is a lecturer in the Language and Communication Unit at the Department of Management and Humanities of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia. She holds a Masters in Education (TESL) from Universiti Teknologi MARA (2007) and has been teaching Technical and Professional Writing, Professional Communication Skills and Academic Writing. Azelin’s interests are in adult education, lifelong learning, postgraduates, internship and communication.

Mohamed Noor Rosli Baharom

Director, Student Services, UniversitiTeknologi PETRONAS, Perak, Malaysia

Mohamed Noor Rosli Baharom has thirty years of experience as an educationist at the school and tertiary level. Mohamed Noor Rosli Baharom’s area of specialization is in teaching of English, QA in education, staff and student development, and curriculum design and Baharom’s research area of interest is in engineering education and internship.


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