Asee peer logo

GIFTS – Getting Students to Make Fact-Based Presentations in a First Year Engineering Course

Download Paper |


2018 FYEE Conference


Glassboro, New Jersey

Publication Date

July 24, 2018

Start Date

July 24, 2018

End Date

July 26, 2018

Conference Session

Technical Session IX

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference Sessions

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Ashish D Borgaonkar New Jersey Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Ashish Borgaonkar works as Asst. Dean in the Office of the Dean, Newark College of Engineering, NJIT, Newark, NJ. He has taught several engineering courses primarily in the first year engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering departments and won multiple awards for excellence in instruction. He also has worked on several programs and initiatives to help students bridge the gap between high school and college as well as preparing students for the rigors of mathematics. His research interests include engineering education, excellence in instruction, water and wastewater treatment, civil engineering infrastructure, and transportation engineering.

visit author page


Jaskirat Sodhi New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

Dr. Jaskirat Sodhi is a University Lecturer in the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Employer feedback on engineering graduates highlights their proficiency of technical knowledge and hands-on training but points out their lack of communication skills and lack of experience in presenting fact based information. Many students do not have to work on their presentation skills until they take some of the higher-level engineering courses. Making effective presentations is imperative for students to be able to demonstrate their ideas and designs efficiently. Fundamentals of Engineering Design (FED101) – An introductory first year engineering course – is a perfect opportunity for instructors to encourage students to research facts about various topics and present them in a formal setting to the class. We did two coordinated activities for students to learn the importance of presenting well while getting feedback from their peers and instructors. Activity 1 was presented by the student chapter of Toastmasters Club on campus. Toastmasters is an organization that operates clubs worldwide to help members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. It served a dual purpose – 1) to encourage students to join this international club and 2) to help students understand how one can improve their presentation skills with minor adjustments. Activity 2 was a group activity where students were asked to randomly pick a topic from a pre-decided list. Each topic had a ‘for’ and ‘against’ side. All groups made short presentations followed by a rebuttal/argument on their topic. Emphasis was on presenting fact based information regardless of their individual feelings about the topic they were assigned. Most students were able to present well and received constructive criticism and feedback from the audience. Majority of the students reported that presenting fact based information turned out to be easier than they had imagined. We are running a survey to collect more information on the effectiveness of these activities and will have the results before the deadline to submit the paper.

Borgaonkar, A. D., & Sodhi, J. (2018, July), GIFTS – Getting Students to Make Fact-Based Presentations in a First Year Engineering Course Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--31415

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: © 2018 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