Glassboro, New Jersey
July 24, 2018
July 24, 2018
July 26, 2018
FYEE Conference Sessions
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. https://peer.asee.org/31415
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