Hibsman Presents on Writing Assignments that Prepare Students to Excel in Workplace Settings

Posted on 10/10/2017 8:31:51 AM

Tim Hibsman (English Department) presented “Transforming Students to a Professional Setting” at the EAPSU Conference at Kutztown University on October 7, 2017.


When students graduate they often have a culture shock between the academic environment and the real world. Student-centered learning is often quickly replaced with a customer-focused or employer-focused model in the business community. In his presentation, Hibsman demonstrated some techniques for preparing students for this changing climate. Examples came from English classes he teaches at IUP, classes such as Technical Writing and Pre-Law. He explained how assignments in these courses include vital skills for today's knowledge worker, including the ability to collaborate well in teams and to entertain diverse perspectives from many disciplinary directions.

Hibsman also noted ways in which technology is also altering how we do business. Research assignments on international business approaches also provides a different perspective. He described lessons that show how students need, not only, a variety of skills, but a clear understanding of how to implement those skills appropriately, wisely and fairly. Instead of a teacher or professor, he explained, sometimes it is important to switch roles and play an employer or customers. Student assignments must mimic a real-life documents, reports or contracts. This presentation will provide several learning models, role-playing scenarios, and collaborative assignments to transition students to the next phase of their lives.


The English Association of the Pennsylvania State Universities is a regional professional organization whose members come from the faculty and students of the 14 state university English departments in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

EAPSU has been in existence since 1980 as an organization dedicated to excellence in English studies, and prides itself in being inclusive. Conferences showcase the best in many disciplines within English Studies: composition, creative writing, literature, film, technical/scientific writing, and, of course, pedagogy.

Department of English