A new website designed to help students make the transition between school, university and employment is launched today, by Queen Mary, University of London's Thinking Writing team.
The 'Writing in Schools, Higher Education and Employment Settings' (WISHEES) project is funded by JISC, and aims to help raise aspiration and attainment in schools and universities.
Working in collaboration with local schools and employers, Teresa McConlogue and Debra Hills of the Thinking Writing team have developed an online collection of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) writing texts and podcasts. The site features examples of real student texts, with tutor commentaries on those texts and interactive tutorials to help students think about quality in STEM writing.
The team hope school teachers and academics will find the website useful when designing STEM writing tasks that better prepare students for the demands of university and employment.
Sally Mitchell, Thinking Writing Co-ordinator at Queen Mary, commented: "This resource provides fascinating insights into what teachers and lecturers value in their students’ writing. It’s a great addition to the Thinking Writing website which supports academics to develop their thinking and practice in relation to writing."
Resources like WISHEES help to celebrate the good work that goes on in schools and universities around writing, and help students explore the trajectory of student writing from school to employment.
Academics from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, USA and employers such as Transport for London and Astrium Ltd (space transportation and satellite systems) have also contributed to the WISHEES collection.
Osman Bawa from Astrium Ltd commented: “Technical writing is an essential skill on which industry and business as a whole depend. To our thousands of engineers and managers it is their main means of communication. Students and young engineers need to actively develop and practice their technical writing, not only to speed up the process or reduce the time it takes, but to guarantee a project's success.
“Astrium is pleased to be a part of the STEM WISHEES project as it is an excellent way of helping students and academics to understand just what industry expects.”
JISC Digitisation Programme Manager Paola Marchionni added: "This resource is an excellent example of how the higher education sector, schools and employers can work in partnership to tackle the need for innovative resources which are engaging and at the same time develop students' digital literacy skills to prepare them for the demands of tertiary education as well as for the job market."
To find out more about the project and view the resources go to: http://www.thinkingwriting.qmul.ac.uk/wishees
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