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A Just In Time Model For Technical Communications And The Use Of Grading Rubrics In A Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Writing and Communication II

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.50.1 - 9.50.15



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Paper Authors

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Richard Bannerot

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2661

A Just-In-Time Model for Teaching Technical Communications in a Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Course

Jenna Terry Program Administrator of Writing in the Disciplines, Writing Center,

Paul Ruchhoeft Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,

Richard Bannerot and Ross Kastor Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Houston

Abstract This paper describes how the level of both the instruction of and the expectations for the technical communications associated with a multidisciplinary capstone design course in the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston have been upgraded through a growing relationship with the University of Houston Writing Center. Even though the evolution of this activity is still in progress, the interaction has already resulted in a series of just-in-time workshops, opportunities for individual consultations for the students with peer Writing Consultants, the general upgrading of the communication requirements for the course, and the development of extensive instructions and grading criteria for oral and written assignments. This interaction has already expanded to other courses and other departments in the College of Engineering. The model can be replicated on other campuses.

Introduction There seems to be a general consensus that diminishing communication skills among school- aged children and young adults is reaching crisis proportions. This concern is not limited to students at certain universities, or those majoring in technical fields. In “ Why Johnny Can’t Write, Even Though He Went To Princeton,” the Chronicle of Higher Education1 highlights the problem of students progressing through their undergraduate education without developing the writing skills necessary to communicate effectively in their chosen fields of study. In particular, employers of recent engineering graduates have noted for years a deficiency in the communication skills of college graduates. This issue is summarized and discussed in the article by Norback et. altera2 which also provides an extensive “literature review of writing and presenting in engineering.”2

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exhibition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Bannerot, R. (2004, June), A Just In Time Model For Technical Communications And The Use Of Grading Rubrics In A Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13789

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