San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
25.238.1 - 25.238.15
Atlas Shrugged: Assessing Communication and Global Competence Skills in aTechnical Writing CourseAt least one theme of Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel “Atlas Shrugged” is the role of the individualmind in a successful society. While engineering and technology programs focus on preparing thestudent to perform the technical tasks required of them upon graduation, many count upon thegeneral humanities education of the freshman and sophomore years to provide the liberal artsbasis for such necessities as global awareness and professional communication competence.This paper will explore one university program’s attempt to assess both global andcommunication competence using a required technical writing course normally taken in theJunior year, and how that course is attempting to meet these two required competencies, and anumber of others surrounding professional communication. The paper will detail theorganization of the overall course, along with its objectives, and explain the assessment tools andoutcomes used to measure global and communication competence. It will also address thechallenges of focusing on two outcomes while still trying to meet the myriad other outcomesrequired by the course, and possible solutions.
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