Constructing and Developing Problem-oriented Writing at University
In order to teach writing and to facilitate reflective learning, we need to know and to understand the actual writing and writing processes of our students - and in order to do so, we need research on what students think, want and write. Fostering critical thinking is one of the central aims of university, and during the last decades we have experienced a boom in student-oriented learning approaches specifically aiming at generating and supporting critical thinking and writing. As a result, new genres are born, in which students are expected to use and transform knowledge in a manner which is different from or even contradictory of their previous writing experiences. Or, as Maggi Savin-Baden concludes; "It is naïve to assume that it is possible to adopt problem-based learning with ease". Nevertheless, there is little research on students' generic competence in negotiating and constructing problem-based genres, nor in how these generic competencies develop during their time at university. In this paper, I intend to present and discuss a genre analysis of problem-oriented student reports focusing in particular on how problem-oriented elements are represented in this writing and on how the composition of these texts change and develop during the first two years at a Danish problem-oriented university.
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3rd European Convention for the Association of the Teaching of Academic Writing: Teaching writing on-line and face-to-face, 2005