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Enhancing Communication Skills In A Laboratory Course Through Computer Application Training

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Conference

1998 Annual Conference

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

3.259.1 - 3.259.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/7101

Download Count

48

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Paper Authors

author page

Ronald H. Rockland

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

Session 1547

Enhancing Communication Skills in a Laboratory Course through Computer Application Training Ronald H. Rockland, Ph.D. New Jersey Institute of Technology

Abstract

Communication skills are essential in the development of an engineering technologist. To enhance these skills, computer application training, involving word processing, spreadsheet analysis and presentation design was incorporated into an upper division engineering technology laboratory based course. Pre and post assessments were performed to determine improvements in this area.

Introduction

Communication skills are essential in the development of an engineering technologist. This has been reinforced in discussion with several industrial advisors at both NJIT and local community colleges, where the requirements for technology position includes not only technical skills but also a variety of non-technical skills. These include interpersonal skills, ability to work as a team, and good oral and written communication skills.

Part of the ability to communicate is to be proficient in computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheet analysis and presentation skills. In previous laboratory based courses, it was observed by the author that these skills were not strong in many students. To study whether that hypothesis was correct, as well as enhance these skills, computer application training involving Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint were incorporated into the introductory laboratory based course.

The Electrical Engineering Technology program at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is an Upper Division program which is accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC of ABET). Virtually all the students entering our program come from community colleges, or proprietary schools such as DeVry, where they have accumulated a minimum of sixty-four credits. Many of these students work full time, and may have worked in industry after graduating from a community college. Therefore, even if they learned computer skills in the lower division, these skills might not have been reinforced.

Pre-Assessment

To analyze the student’s proficiency in computer based applications, they were first given a self- assessment questionnaire during the first lecture period. Part of this questionnaire was to determine general computer proficiency, while the majority of it was to determine proficiency levels in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The method used was to determine key competencies at both the introductory and intermediate/advanced

Rockland, R. H. (1998, June), Enhancing Communication Skills In A Laboratory Course Through Computer Application Training Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/7101

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