June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.259.1 - 3.259.9
Enhancing Communication Skills in a Laboratory Course through Computer Application Training Ronald H. Rockland, Ph.D. New Jersey Institute of Technology
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.
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.
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
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1998 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015