Co-teaching Engineering and Writing: Learning about Programming, Teamwork, and Communication


This study describes the rationales, method, and outcomes of a software engineering course that was cotaught by professors from the disciplines of computer science and writing. The course emphasized both teamwork and communication skills as critical to success for career programmers. The rationales for the course included theory and research in both computer science and writing. Additional rationales were identified in differences between industry practice and prevailing computer science course designs, plus differences between industry practice and student assumptions about programming professionalism. The method of the course used an interdisciplinary process model grounded in Frederick P. Brooks' analysis of team programming practices. This model draws explicit links among teamwork, communication skills, and software engineering design practices. The outcomes of the course, reported by narration of representative learning experiences, included students' enhanced recognition of how technical writing and communication skills could improve programming performance. The authors recommend their interdisciplinary approach as a progressive course design for technology studies.




Rehling, Louise, and Lee Hollaar. "Co-teaching Engineering and Writing: Learning about Programming, Teamwork, and Communication." Issues in Integrative Studies 15 (1997): 125-147.