June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.402.1 - 8.402.5
Developing Communication Effectiveness in a Freshman Electrical Engineering Technology Curriculum
Robert J. Hofinger Purdue University, Columbus, IN
The ability to communicate effectively is expected of all college graduates. The ability to present technical concepts and write good reports distinguishes an outstanding technologist from an average one. Feedback from our industrial board indicated that writing should form an integral part of an electrical engineering technologist’s education. The goal of graduating electrical engineering technologists with effective communication skills is found in the ABET 2000 TAC criteria.
Traditionally, electrical engineering technology programs have required that courses in technical writing and oral presentations be administered through their English departments. While these courses can provide useful instruction, they inevitably suffer from certain drawbacks. First, these courses teach students only one standardized approach to writing and speaking, overlooking the significant differences that exist in the way that engineers in various industrial domains communicate technical information. And second, the courses seldom provide the students with adequate, “real world” exercises.
To help give our freshman students a better understanding of technical writing and to give the electrical engineering technology program immediate relevance, ECET 196 “Introduction to ECET and Projects” has been designed to incorporate the teaching of these communication skills. This paper focuses specifically on my efforts to incorporate these features into this course and into our undergraduate laboratory courses.
The ability to communicate effectively is expected of all college graduates. The ability to communicate technical concepts well, distinguishes an outstanding technologist from an average one. Students seeking to become engineering technicians or technologists often lack the basic communication skills. It has been written many times, that employers regard good communication skills as a necessary element of technical positions. These employers know that a paraprofessional on the engineering team must be able to communicate ideas to others. This is why electrical engineering technology instructors must require good report writing in their “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”
Hofinger, R. (2003, June), Developing Communication Effectiveness In A Freshman Electrical Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/11555
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