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Improving Communication Skills: Using PechaKucha Style in Engineering Courses

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Communication: From Pecha Kucha to Bullets

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.831.1 - 22.831.13



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Paper Authors


Sandra Soto-Caban Muskingum University

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Sandra Soto-Caban received her B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University. She is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Muskingum University in New Concord, OH. Her interests focus on engineering education and electromagnetics, especially electromagnetic characterization of materials.

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Emre Selvi Muskingum University

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Emre Selvi is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Muskingum University, New Concord. He received his academic degrees in Mechanical Engineering; B.S. and M.S. from Middle East Technical University and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. Prior to starting his Ph.D. in 2004, he worked as a Design and Production Engineer for Aselsan Inc. over four years. His research interests are high pressure material science and engineering design, especially as it relate to educational environments.

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Ferdinand Avila-Medina Ohio State University, Newark

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Ferdinand Avila-Medina is as an Adjunct Instructor at The Ohio State University, Newark were he works as a Learning Skills Specialist. He has more than twenty years of experience in Higher Education and specializes in student development and retention.

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Improving Presentation Skills: Adoption of Pecha Kucha Style in Engineering CoursesGreat communication skills are a primary requirement of most jobs. Developing effectivewritten and oral communication skills is essential for students in every field, includingEngineering. In an effort to improve these non-technical skills in engineering students, oralpresentations are a requirement throughout the curriculum at XXX University, a traditionalliberal arts institution.One of the main problems encountered with that requirement is the inadequate use ofPowerPoint. Students create presentations that are too long, with too much information oneach slide, and more often than not, presenters address their audience without rehearsal orunder-rehearsed. The audience loses interest in the topics and the message conveyed getslost.With the goal of improving presentation skills we required students to design theirPowerPoint presentations using the Pecha Kucha style. In this style, students are requiredto present their design and/or research projects in 6 minutes and forty seconds. Thepresentation must contain 20 slides with duration of 20 seconds each. Slides are simple;with pictures and only a phrase or word describe the picture or idea. The pace of thepresentation keeps the students focused and both the audience and the presenter becomemore engaged and motivated.This style was used in two different courses with different kinds of presentations. Juniorstudents presented their research project for the Electromagnetics course, and sophomorestudents used this style to present their design projects in Statics and Dynamics course.After the presentations, students were required to answer a questionnaire where theycompared their experience using Pecha Kucha style with traditional PowerPointpresentations. Details of the assessment tool and results of the student’s questionnaire arepresented and explained in detail.

Soto-Caban, S., & Selvi, E., & Avila-Medina, F. (2011, June), Improving Communication Skills: Using PechaKucha Style in Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18112

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