STUDENTS’ PERCEIVED TECHNICAL WRITING COMPETENCY NEEDS: A PILOT STUDY OF MALAYSIAN POLYTECHNICS

S.F. Isnin, R. Mustapha, W.M. Othman

Sultan Idris Education University (MALAYSIA)
This study provides a preview into understanding the needs of technical writing competency from the perspective of 34 final year diploma engineering students of one Malaysian polytechnic and 15 lecturers from 5 different polytechnics in Malaysia. The rationale of this study is to investigate the students’ and the lecturers’ views on the needs of technical writing competency in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. A part from that, this study also attempts to identify specific technical elements to be included if a new technical writing module to be introduced in the polytechnic education system. Through the employment of a need analysis questionnaire to the respective respondents, the perceived technical writing competency needs of Malaysian polytechnic students are recognised which include technical terms, grammatical aspects, writing style and convention. This paper concludes with an instructional design material as a suggestion to improve and develop technical writing competency in English among Malaysian polytechnic engineering students.