Asee peer logo

Enhancing The Oral Presentation Skills Of Engineering Students: Technology To The Rescue With The Virtual I Presenter (Vip)

Download Paper |

Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computer Education Innovations

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

14.574.1 - 14.574.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4913

Download Count

508

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Thomas Cochrane University of Canterbury

visit author page

Tom A. Cochrane is a senior lecturer (US associate professor) in the Dept. of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He teaches and does research in hydrology, natural resources engineering, GIS, and soil/water conservation. Dr Cochrane received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Enhancing oral presentation skills of engineering students: Technology to the rescue with the Virtual-i Presenter (ViP)

Abstract

Engineering graduates are faced with solving increasingly interdisciplinary and complex technical problems in a competitive world that requires clear communication and presentation skills. To this effect, oral communication skills should be considered an integral part of an engineer’s formal education. Many engineering departments, however, are currently experiencing a growth in enrolments which is translating to larger classroom sizes. Unfortunately, this is impacting on the ability for students to acquire oral presentation skills because in-class oral presentations can take over limited lecture or lab time which is needed for other critical technical material. To tackle this problem and improve presentation skills, a program called Virtual-i Presenter (ViP) was created. ViP allows students to create, review, and evaluate oral presentations using a webcam and a PowerPoint presentation outside of lecture time and still receive peer and academic feedback. The program has NO video or audio editing capabilities and thus the presentation becomes closer to how live presentations are given. ViP features a system to evaluate presentations, enabling the presenter to receive both technical and presentation skills feedback from peers and lecturers. ViP was successfully tested in classes of 19 natural resources and 78 civil engineering students. Survey results showed that students repeated (practiced) their presentations 4 to 6 times on average before submitting their final one. This is significant because most other students within the department will do less than 3 oral presentations during their academic career. By students being able to “see and hear” themselves present, it made them aware of their oral skills or fallacies and motivated them to enhance presentation skills by practicing more. The survey also showed that student’s overall experience with ViP was positive. As commonly as a lecturer currently asks students to write a report, lecturers can now also assign an oral presentation using ViP. Segments of ViP presentations can be discussed in class to highlight good and poor presentation techniques. Since ViP oral presentations are saved in digital format, students can learn from previous years presentations. Live presentations can not and should not be substituted fully; however, ViP enables students to become better prepared for when they have a chance to give a live presentation.

Introduction

Current engineering graduates are faced with solving increasingly interdisciplinary and complex technical problems in a competitive world that requires clear communication and presentation skills. These skills are actively being sought by industry, as can be seen in most engineering job advertisements requiring prospective engineers to have good communication skills. Furthermore, recently updated professional guidelines, such as those provided by the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) and the U.S. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)1,2, consider these skills an integral part of an engineers formal education. Specifically, the ability to communicate effectively is a professional skill that all engineers should possess as presented in Criterion 3 of the 2003 revised ABET accreditation criteria1,2. Various approaches have been taken by universities to provide opportunities for students to improve written communication skills, but improving student oral presentation skills

Cochrane, T. (2009, June), Enhancing The Oral Presentation Skills Of Engineering Students: Technology To The Rescue With The Virtual I Presenter (Vip) Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4913

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: © 2009 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