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From Workplace to Classroom - Document Workflow and Engineering Communication Pedagogy

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Writing and Communication II

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

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Paper Authors


Julia M. Williams Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Julia M. Williams is Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment and Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her research areas include technical communication, assessment, accreditation, and the development of change management strategies for faculty and staff. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education, International Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly, among others.

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Bernadette Longo New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Bernadette Longo is an Associate Dean in the College of Science and Liberal Arts and an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is the author of the biography Edmund Berkeley and the Social Responsibility of Computer Professionals, published by ACM Books/Morgan & Claypool in September 2015. Before joining the NJIT faculty in 2012, Dr. Longo taught at the University of Minnesota and Clemson University. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1996. Dr. Longo uses a cultural studies approach to investigate communication practices situated within particular contexts and mediated by technological devices. This cultural studies approach was exemplified in her first book Spurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing. Dr. Longo received a History Committee Fellowship from the Association for Computing Machinery in 2012 and is the 2014 recipient of the Emily Schlesinger Award in recognition of her service to the IEEE Professional Communication Society.

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Dave M. Kmiec New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dave Kmiec is the Coordinator of Undergraduate Technical Communication in the Humanities Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has degrees in Chemistry and in Technical Communication and a PhD in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. His research involves rhetoric and engineering history and culture. He also does communication and publications consulting for manufacturing and engineering and sciences service firms.

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Engineering educators recognize the importance of communication in the development of their students. And yet, given the constraints of offering professional and technical communication courses in the college and university setting, engineering students are often not taught communication in the context of actual engineering workplace practices. To remedy this gap, we have chosen to focus the forthcoming IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Professions (IEEE Wiley 2016) on communication as it is practiced in engineering workplaces. Using interviews with working engineers, we introduce the concept of document workflow. Workflow provides students with a more realistic view of the kinds of documents and types of communication they will confront when they enter the engineering workplace.

Williams, J. M., & Longo, B., & Kmiec, D. M. (2016, June), From Workplace to Classroom - Document Workflow and Engineering Communication Pedagogy Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26980

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