Wrise Home

Introducing WRISE to students

Using the WRISE site

Student Handout

The WRiSE site

The WRiSE (Writing a Report in Science and Engineering) site is an online learning environment designed to help students develop and improve their report writing skills in science and engineering. Although the report assignments exemplified in WRiSE span the undergraduate years, the content may also be useful for students studying for a higher degree.

The WRiSE site addresses students' most common report writing needs by providing:

  • clear descriptions and examples of report structure and language within each section of a report.
  • interactive examples and exercises that allow students to understand and practice appropriate structures and language.
  • feedback and explanation of both appropriate and inappropriate student writing.
  • explanations and interactive exercises to address difficult concepts in each discipline.
  • commentary by students and staff on expectations, common problems and the report writing process.

WRiSE is a collaborative project among Learning Centres and discipline staff from the Faculties of Science and Engineering at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. Technical development has been provided by staff from the Teaching Development Unit, School of Biological Sciences, the University of Sydney. Funding for WRiSE has been provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).

What does the WRiSE site contain?

The site comprises separate modules for reports in individual science and engineering disciplines. Each discipline has its own way of constructing knowledge as well as its own way of writing reports. This is reflected in variations in text structure and language style across different disciplines. Therefore, the WRiSE site has been designed along discipline lines and exemplifies the learning objectives for report writing at different stages in the undergraduate years.

Each module uses real student texts as examples and as the basis for exercises and incorporates commentary from academic staff and students. Discipline knowledge relevant to the report examples in each module is also addressed. Although the site helps students to use the technical and scientific language of their discipline, it also supports students in developing generic writing skills and language use.

In each module, material is divided between Help with Report Writing and Help with Understanding Content.

Help with Report Writing focuses on the appropriate structure and language for the main report or research paper students need to write in that discipline. The sections of a typical report (e.g. introduction, discussion) form the basis of the design. Within each section, structure and language are analysed and exemplified. All topics include interactive exercises with feedback and explanation. Audio commentary addressing the process of report writing and common student problems is provided by lecturers and students.

Help with Understanding Content varies from module to module and provides explanations and exercises to help students with essential concepts for the report examples used in "Help with Report Writing" or with more general course content such as how to provide appropriate concentrations in a biochemistry legend.

The WRiSE site and its contents are subject to copyright and intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced without permission.

The site will support your teaching by:

  • assisting students to learn and/or improve their report writing skills in your discipline context,
  • providing a consistent approach and terminology for discussing report structure and language with your students,
  • facilitating precision and clarity in your feedback to students on their reports,
  • enabling you to refer students to WRiSE for feedback on common report writing problems.

How can I use the WRiSE site?

Two use scenarios for WRiSE can be supported:

  • Blended learning: students use WRiSE as part of their curriculum. WRiSE will be embedded in the pedagogical design of the course or Unit of Study and will be part of the learning outcomes and assessment process. It will be accessed through the online course management system.
  • Self-directed learning: students can be offered the WRiSE site to improve their writing and will access the site independently. Individual students may be referred by their lecturer to WRiSE (or a relevant section of the site), as a result of feedback on a written report.

  >>Next: Introducing WRiSE to your students