June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.927.1 - 26.927.13
Improving Student Technical Communication via Self ReflectionOne area of major importance for engineering students entering the workforce is the ability tosuccessfully communicate with coworkers. Formal communication in the engineering workplaceheavily relies on presentation skills to provide colleagues with updates and recommendations.However, communication skills are a common weakness in many engineering curricula due tominimal student experience. Making the most of student presentations in the undergraduateengineering classroom is invaluable to students’ future success. Instructors managing classroompresentations are immersed in many tasks, though, so increasing the efficiency of presentationfeedback mechanisms provides a potential route for maximizing students benefit from theseexperiences.The presented work examines student self-evaluation and reflection as a route to increasingformal presentation skill. The tasks required for an instructor during student presentations areexhaustive (grading, questioning, etc.), and leave little time to include extensive feedbackpertaining to communication skill. In addition, students’ firsthand discovery of presentationweaknesses and negative speaking habits increase their awareness of such behavior insubsequent experiences. Therefore, the potential impact of this study is twofold: (1) it minimizesextraneous work for the instructor and (2) it provides students a platform to analyze their owncommunication skill, take ownership of their findings, and make improvements they themselvesdiscover.The study investigates the efficacy of student-centered evaluations on their communication.Student presentations are recorded, including the post-presentation question and answer session,and made available to presenters. Students are required to submit a formal document detailinghow they feel their presentation could be improved to increase the channel of communicationwith their audience. Instructor feedback of findings is provided to guide students along thecorrect path and to ensure that they address major items. Then, students analyze subsequentpresentations against their self-determined recommendations. The effectiveness of student self-reflection will be presented based on qualitative student feedback and on the quantitativeimprovement of student presentations (i.e. grades). Improvement will be tracked through thecourse of a semester and compared with previous semester trends in which student self-examination and reflection was absent.
Mineart, K. P., & Cooper, M. (2015, June), Improving Student Technical Communication via Self-reflection Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24264
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